Beer + success?! News Page 4
International Page 21
bathimpact The University of Bath Students’ Union Newspaper
Volume 13 Issue 9
Tuesday 13th March 2012
In this week’s bathimpact
The SU have been successful in delaying the introduction of a two tier wage system that would have seen people aged between 18 and 20 paid the lower rate of £4.98 (as required by minimum wage law) as opposed to the higher rate of £6.08 which is legally applicable to those 21 and over. Turn to page 3
bathimpact’s Hugo Verity takes a look at the issue of gay marriage, and how such prejudices still saturate all corners of officialdom’ world wide. Verity seperates the issue from it’s usual partner; religion, and discusses the ignorance of high profile figures when it comes to equal rights.
The winners of the 2012 Sabbatical Elections, your new student representatives, celebrating after a long hard week of campaigning
The end of a turbulent week Gemma Isherwood bathimpact Deputy Editor email@example.com
his year’s Sabbatical Elections results were announced last Friday 9th at 8:15pm after a tough week of campaigning for the 14 candidates. The winners were: Chris ‘Clemmo’ Clements for SU President, winning with 2329 out of 3024 votes; Jon ‘Tiger’ Gleave for VP Sport, winning in the fourth round with 1468 out of 2558 votes; Hanna Wade for VP Community & Diversity (C&D) with 2169 out of 2674 votes; Alex Pool for VP Education, with 1480 out of 2601 votes; and Alix Chadwell for VP Activities & Development (A&D), in round three with 1482 out of 2327 votes. The exit poll conducted on Wednesday was entirely accurate for every position. Questions for Candidates took place on Monday 5th and Tuesday 6th
of campaign week, the best performances under pressure coming from VP Sport candidate Jon ‘Tiger’ Gleave and VP A&D candidate Alix Chadwell. In the VP Education hustings, candidate James ‘jmd’ Mirza-Davies struggled over a question on Learning Partnership Organisation students (LPOs), students that study at other institutions but are awarded a University of Bath degree, which highlighted a knowledge deficit. Generally, VP Education candidate Alex Pool showed a greater knowledge and experience of the education system here at Bath, but James showed initiative with developing new ideas for learning and thinking outside of the box. Whether or not his ideas are viable will be seen in the upcoming academic year as candidates across the board admitted that they would take on ideas of other candidates where appropriate. The SU President hustings were
eventful due to the presence of candidate Oliver Scott, who made very clear his agenda of running to make a point about free speech rather than a true desire for the job. His odd remarks and unusual ideas were possibly the highlight of what was a relatively unchallenging and predictable set of questions. The URB candidate interviews generally went smoothly although there was tension on Monday and Tuesday during a catch-up interview as an allegation was made by C&D candidate Bethany Wong against the current SU President with regard to his impartiality towards the C&D candidates. This was, however, resolved in favour of the SU President after a statement from Deputy Returning Officer and CE of the SU, Ian Robinson. URB’s daily episodes of Buzz, their news show, proved popular with keeping the electorate up to speed with the goings on with daily
candidate catch-ups, CTV’s candidate videos were also of a high standard this year with views reaching the hundreds within the first 24 hours of release. SU President candidate Oliver Scott again proved popular with his interesting take on the important policies he wished to address and, due to his manifesto not being printed, received a high number of views, beaten only by Jon ’Tiger’ Gleave. Chris ‘Clemmo’ Clements rounded off the night with a brief speech, saying that the thing that excited him most was the “incredible team” and that he was sure they could do “amazing things this year” Gleave, our brand new VP Sport said “I had an inkling over the week [that] it was going well. I just didn’t expect it to be so close, like I said before I decided I wanted to do this in my second year when I helped campaign for Crawshaw. I don’t tend to show Continued on page 2
Turn to page 9
It’s all political bathimpact are proud to announce the launch of the new Politics Section. The section will be teamed with International in a new structuring at the end of this term, and will primarily focus on Union politics, followed by NUS politics and then finally more national stories. This issue brings you news of the NUS elections, and Politics Month! Turn to page 10 & 11
bite’s lead looks at how the last year has been all about revolution and technology’s role in that. Revolutionary sentiment continues to spread across the globe thanks to the utilisation of new communications platforms. Is there an age of people being usurped for the new generation of technologically-savy revolutionaries? Find out... with bite page 2
Tuesday 13th March 2012
Editorials Kylie Barton Editor-in-Chief
Gemma Isherwood Deputy Editor
Tomos Evans News/Comment Editor firstname.lastname@example.org
Esther Osarfo-Mensah Features Editor email@example.com
Holly Narey bite Editor
Jonathan Gleave Sport Editor
Ben Hooper Publicity/Distribution
Magali Calabressi Treasurer
Jack Franklin IT Officer
Nick Hill Secretary
Sam Short Social Secretary www.facebook.com/bathimpact www.bathimpact.com U n i v e r s i t y
B a t h
S t u d e n t s ’
U n i o n
m edia Advertising Enquires Helen Freeman H.Freeman@bath.ac.uk 01225 386806
bathimpact Students’ Union University of Bath Bath BA2 7AY 01225 38 6151 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.
bathimpact The importance of being censored The University of Bath Students’ Union Newspaper
t is a well-known fact within Media here at Bath - and probably to our wider, more involved audience - that censorship is a tentative and problematic issue around which there has been a lot of tension in recent years. This editorial, however, demonstrates that bathimpact is not, as some of you thought regarding our unpublished editorial on our treatment from the SU, simply intent on getting our own way and unable to understand the finer points on censorship and editorial freedom. If you have picked up a copy of the bathimpact Elections Special, you will notice that Presidential candidate Oliver Scott does not have a manifesto as he ‘failed to submit a valid [one]’. After speculation that this was a decision made by bathimpact, we would like to clarify both the power we had over what was printed in the Elections Special and our position on the censorship of his manifesto. Firstly, bathimpact had no control over spelling or grammar. A fair
opportunity to submit a written, checked and reviewed manifesto was given to all candidates and it was not for bathimpact to edit, correct or alter in any way. The candidates are all intelligent individuals had every chance to spellcheck; additionally it could easily compromise the success of certain candidates if there was any interference without their knowledge. Secondly, we were given documents which had to be copied directly into the pages and, with Oliver Scott’s proposer and seconder details, we were given the sentence you see printed on the page and available online and did not receive a copy of the manifesto following the decision not to make it available from the Elections Committee. After correspondence with Oliver, members of the bathimpact team have read the manifesto and agree that it is not a suitable piece to have printed in the newspaper. This is because we find it to be morally objectionable, unnecessar-
ily insulting and plain offensive. We feel that it is not an expression of free speech and the limitations thereon, but an unrefined attempt to make a point about freedom of speech in this country. Oliver cites on his facebook fan page for candidacy various articles such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and European Convention on Human Rights. Upon reading these, bathimpact cemented its opinion that the manifesto should not have been printed. For example, Article 10 of the European Convention reads as follows: ‘Freedom of expression: 1. Everyone has the right to freedom of expression. This right shall include freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart information and ideas without interference by public authority and regardless of frontiers. (...) 2. The exercise of these freedoms, since it carries with it duties and responsibilities, may be subject to such formalities, conditions, restrictions or
penalties as are prescribed by law and are necessary in a democratic society (...) for the protection of health or morals, for the protection of the reputation or rights of others (...)’ Clearly, in line with part one, it is the author’s right to have their piece published using their desired medium. According to the second part of the Article 10, however, it is clear that the protection of the health, morals and practices override the opinion of the individual. This is not to say that one is more important than the other, but publishing a manifesto which, despite attempting to be in the most part humourous, questions the ethics of homosexuality and requests that heterosexuals wear rainbow clothing to lower stigma, it is clear that it is both insensitive and does no favours for either the author or his opinions. In short, bathimpact fully supports the decision of the Elections Committee to censor this article as, ultimately, it protects the author from his own judgement.
We huff, we puff, to save this house...
he Guardian has launched a new campaign to highlight the importance of good journalism. The most visible manifestation of which is their new advert which aired across numerous channels for the first time at the end of last month. The advert is based on the ‘Three Little Pigs’ children’s story, which demonstrates the value of reporting and the evolution of a story from several different angles and perspectives. The advert explores how people are vilified and victimised by the media, with the topical use of how far people can go to protect their property. This whole advert highlights the subjective nature of the media and explores the different platforms consumers can now use to access and, most importantly, comment on news stories, and can therefore have an effect on the way the news agenda pans out. Powerful Continued from the front page
emotion, but up there, you saw it, emotion. I just... I’m shocked.” Hanna Wade told bathimpact and URB through a huge grin, that it was “such a good feeling , such a relief, especially getting such a large majority! People are screaming my name outside!”. When asked what the university has to expect from Hanna she responded “dedication!” and then descended into giggles. bathimpact
stuff indeed. This innovative initiative shows that the Guardian is at the forefront of moving newspapers into the 21st century and incorporating technology whilst retaining more traditional journalistic methods so that quality is not sacrificed as is the fear. The advert demonstrates the different angles considered when compiling a story from the more humanistic angle, to the scientific and legal slants on any given story. This is something which the public must remember with such negative press surrounding the industry with recent Murdoch scandals and the Leveson Inquiry. The Guardian is the perfect flagship paper to remind people why the art of journalism is a public good and the advert certainly does this cause justice. In addition to this remit of the advert, the Guardian has started an ini-
tiative to ‘open up’ journalism. This includes a weekend at the end of March for ‘a festival of ideas, innovation and entertainment’ where the Guardian will open their doors to allow visitors to hear speakers from around the world debate the most topical issues affecting the industry as well as take part in workshops. The Guardian said it will be encouraging attendees to ‘join the digital revolution’. One must ask how ‘open’ the event really is with prices ranging from £30 for a day or £60 for the weekend, which may exclude whole demographics wanting to participate; such as the student body. The event appears to have been very narrowly publicised with bathimpact only hearing about it at the beginning of the month when tickets were already sold out… gutted. There was also an opportunity for festival pass holders to buy a seat at
the dinner table with Alan Rusbridger, Editor of the Guardian, as well as several other high profile guests. This privilege would cost you £75 in addition to your weekend pass, which to bathimpact seems as though such events in the media industry are still reserved for the elite and closed to the rest of us, which is a real shame. This could have been a fantastic opportunity for the Guardian to really open its doors to those least likely to step over the thresh hold otherwise, with a kind of lottery or application process much fairer than ‘first come first served’ arguably overpriced tickets; out-pricing those who would most benefit from the initiative. We at bathimpact commend the Guardian for organising an amazing opportunity, we just wish we knew about it sooner and had a fairer chance of getting in.
guesses that the election nerves were getting the better of her, and it had nothing to do with URB’s gift of a jagerbomb. Runner-up Bethany Wong wished Hanna all the best, saying “the campaign really took it out of [me]”. Alix Chadwell exclaimed “I’ve never been shaking so much in my life! Henry Rackley left The Plug with a positive outlook; “I wasn’t expecting a win, plug I’ve got a few more years to give it another try”.
Oliver Scott also left the elections with the same attitude. When questioned on how he felt, he responded “I’m relieved, if I’d won it would have been an awkward conversation with my father, and future employer, but I think I got my point across. The final addition to the mix was, as ever, Election Spy. Between comparing the SU President candidate Chris ‘Clemmo’ Clements to Voldemort (Voldesport) and revealing
exactly how Spy’s dream manifesto would read, there was plenty of inter-candidate gossip and some dirty campaigning stories published on facebook for the entertainment of the students here at Bath. After all, the most important thing for a successful SU is that we are all as involved as possible, and the more people vote, the better. Good luck to the new team, bathimpact looks forward to working with you!
Tuesday 13th March 2012
Minimum wage at Uni Queen’s Prize M
Employees in the Student Centre may be affected by the change would be preferable to maintain the current status quo, at least the current cohort of student workers on campus will not be exposed to a shortfall in their income for this semester. By preventing the immediate changes, students will be able to either adjust their expenditure in the light of the reduction in hourly wages or seek employment in the wider community. However, the problem remains; the wide-spread introduction of a two-tiered minimum wage system, which will become evident next academic year, will discourage students from taking employment on campus and encourage them to look elsewhere as students un-
der 21, doing the same job as their slightly older peers, will be taking home £1.10 less per hour. This wage reduction may be particularly relevant as the higher education fees rise in the coming year, and the cost of university living increases; you’d expect the university to maintain wage rates on campus, rather than change the system. SU President, David Howells said that “The responsiveness of the University on this issue is very welcome but the issue remains a problem for the student body and we will continue to oppose it.” The SU continues to oppose these changes and to fight for higher pay for students.
Tomos Evans bathimpact News Editor firstname.lastname@example.org
ost students that hold jobs on campus, despite their age, currently earn the national minimum wage for 21 year olds, £6.08 an hour. However, the University plans to reduce the pay of those aged between 18 and 20 to the lower rate of minimum wage, as they are only legally obliged to pay them £4.98 an hour. Thus there would be an extended two-tier minimum wage system imposed, meaning a pay division between those that receive the 18 year old rate and the 21 year old rate. This change was due to be introduced on April 1st and would have led to a fall in the wage rate of many students. It had been argued that cutting wages is particularly unfair in the middle of a semester as many students rely on their income to cover living costs and there is insufficient time to look for an alternative job before April. Fortunately, the SU have managed to delay this alteration of policy for existing employees; it will now take effect at the end of this semester, on June 6th. Therefore, students can, if they wish to, seek alternative employment, which offers higher wages, in time for the next semester. This is a great achievement and the SU are to be applauded for this negotiated agreement because while it
Maddie Winn bathimpact Contributor
The Vice-Chancellor, Professor Dame Glynis Breakwell, Chancellor Lord Christopher Tugendhat, colleagues and students attended Buckingham Palace to receive the Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education from Her Majesty the Queen. The prestigious award was given to the Department of Social and Policy Sciences due to their groundbreaking research in many areas. This included studies on poverty and social exclusion in Europe, lone mothers and employment as well as child poverty from the children’s own perspective. The department’s research has also had an influential role in informing current UK legislation on child poverty and tax credits. The department has also advised the Welsh Government on policies promoting child welfare and helped to develop strategies aimed at tackling
21 Number of institutions awarded the prize
extreme poverty in Bangladesh. Vice-Chancellor, Professor Dame Glynis Breakwell said how: “This most prestigious award provides official recognition to all those involved in the research, and to the
The VC at Buckingham Palace University as a whole, and is something we can all take great pride in.” The University of Bath is one of only 21 institutions to have been awarded the Queen’s Anniversary Prize, which is this year tied into the Queen’s 60th Jubilee celebrations. To celebrate the award the Department of Social and Policy Sciences will be hosting a Queen’s Anniversary Prize conference on Friday 30th March. The event will showcase some of the research which led to the award and is open to students, staff and the wider public.
Appscrunch winners announced Yutaka Tsutano
Anthony Masters bathimpact News Deputy
ppscrunch, the University of Bath’s first-ever mobile application design competition, ended on Thursday 8th March, as the teams pitched to the judges. The competition, organised by Andrew Seed and Luke Tregidgo, served as a prelude to the Bath Digital Festival. The festival is running from 15th to 25th March around Bath, celebrating digital technology. Five teams had spent last month designing mobile applications, and already provided a business and technical case. The judges were four leaders of Bathbased digital firms: Mike Ellis, Richard Godfrey, David Maher Roberts and Stuart Scott. ‘ClubWatch’ pitched first, with an app described as a ‘database of nightclubs in your area.’ The simple interface provided a calendar function to check different offers, a live feed from users and entry price comparison. Mike Ellis was
iPhones: love them or loathe them, they appear to be here to stay. Apps have become big business impressed the amount of work they had put into this competition. ‘Vertex Learning’, which had a working prototype, allows users to collate all their learning resources into a “mind map”. Zones are drawn on photos, and these zones are transformed into links. David Maher Roberts praised the unique app as “potential revolutionary”.
‘GoTag’ presented an app which called itself “events plus tickets”. It allows to the user to discover events by date, location, taste and trends, whilst providing one-click purchasing. The team had the business partially running, which Richard Godfrey strongly praised. Allowing users to search by ingredients, ‘recype’ provided the
penultimate pitch. The animation showing the ingredients turning into the finished item yielded surprise from the judges. Commenting one of the app’s functions, Mike Ellis said “satnav for your kitchen is a genius idea”. Lastly, ‘ClubSpace’ provided a unified experience having a night out. Whilst being free to download,
the team hoped to generate revenue through guest lists, fast-track tickets, guest packages and taxi bookings. Stuart Scott enjoyed the poetry in their promotional video. The prize of creating the app with Stuart Scott’s Intohand was won by ClubSpace. Upon winning, Tim Burgess said “it all sprang out of an idea that Claire had. Our coursework has taken a bit of a hit this last month”. Claire Downey stated “It’s something we’d never have got into without the competition”. Tim and Claire also praised their absent colleague Katherine Wood. Tickets to the X-Media Labs were won by Vertex Learning; Jason Isbister excitedly said: “I was bit overwhelmed when we heard we might be working with Sony.” Alex Marshall commented that “it’s really opened my eyes about that industry”. The X-Media Labs conference gathers world leaders in digital entertainment, including Ralph Simon, the mobile strategist for Lady Gaga, U2 and the World Cup.
Tuesday 13th March 2012
individual patients. This approach is known as personalised medicine, and should improve outcomes for patients with diabetes. Professor Christopher Jennison, a statistician in the Department of Mathematical Sciences, will be involved in designing the project’s clinical trials. He explained: “While most people assume that Type 2 diabetes is one condition, we anticipate that, in fact, patients can be split into different, identifiable subtypes that respond differently to the available therapies.” Speaking on DIRECT’s formation, Harmut Ruetten of Sanofi, stated that: “It has been fascinating how quickly a strong consortium has been formed, building bridges between the very different worlds of academic and the pharmaceutical industry research organizations”. The other British academic participants in the DIRECT consortium are Imperial College London, University of Newcastle-uponTyne, University of Exeter and the University of Oxford.
Question the VC Simon O’Kane bathimpact Contributor A video in which the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Dame Glynis Breakwell, answers questions posed to her by students will be made available to view this week. The initiative is part of the National Union of Students’ “Come Clean” campaign to encourage wider debate about the future of higher education in the UK. All students of the University were invited to email their questions for the VC to the Students’ Union’s Sabbatical Offic-
ers, with the questions being about the future of both this University and higher education in the UK as a whole. Filming is set to take place this Wednesday. VP Education Matt Benka said: “The Students’ Union is excited about the opportunity that the ViceChancellor has given to students to have their concerns directly addressed by university senior management.” Students should take up this opportunity to create transparency in the University’s future plans for students.
On 21st February, 18 year old Ruth Byfield went missing from her home address in Bath. The former Hayesfield School Sixth form student went missing in the early hours from her home in Oldfield Park. Ruth is described as white, 5”7, with shoulder length blonde hair. She was last seen wearing a dark blue zipped hooded jacket, black trousers and walking boots. The Byfield family have launched and appeal into her whereabouts with her mother, Sharon saying “We just want her to get in touch with her family. We love and care for her and we miss her. We just want to know where she is.”
Avon and Somerset Police
Bath girl missing
A recent picture of Ruth Anyone who has seen Ruth since Tuesday 21st February, or has any information is asked to contact Avon and Somerset Police on 101
Lucy Baker bathimpact Contributor t’s not often that the terms ‘beer’ and ‘studies’ are used positively in the same sentence, however a new competition hosted by AB InBev has allowed four postgraduate students at Bath to encompass their love for beer alongside the chance to add a new and more practical dimension to their university studies. The competition was designed to promote team working and creativity by offering a team of up to 4 students from any university in either the UK or Belgium the chance to develop a new beer for their university. It stressed that the beer must promote the character of their university. Here it was essential to capture the spirit of the University of Bath and what makes both Bath and its University stand out from the crowd. The team was made up of four postgraduate students from the
The logo of Our uni’s brew Department of Chemical Engineering and was captained by Peter Bechervaise, who worked closely alongside Iain Argyle, Simon Owens and Nuno Bimbo to propose the concept of ‘Sulis Core’. With so many other leading brands of beer proving popular with students, the ‘Sulis Core’ team had to ensure that the brand was unlike any other and so opted
for an apple flavoured beer which would be produced both locally and sustainably in Bath and surrounding areas. Fair and ethical sourcing of ingredients alongside recognition for the origin of ‘Sulis Core’ was also pivotal to the identity of the brand. The University of Bath students also understood the importance of responsible drinking, however, which incorporated the ideas of the AB InBev better world programme. It aims to improve social and technological standards in less developed regions across the world, and demonstrates that researching the company can really pay off! A promotional video to help to ‘spread the word’ about Sulis core can also be viewed on Youtube. So, if you are wondering whether Bath could be home to the new ‘Best Beer’, then have a look at the video and support the Bath Sulis team; this could be the start of a whole new beer experience!
Poverty in England ranked
bathimpact’s Bethan Rees reveals where our city stands in England’s poverty rankings
ath has scored positively in a recent survey ranking English counties in terms of poverty risk. The list, compiled by credit card company Experian, has ranked 326 local authorities based on a number of common poverty indicators. Regarding the risk of general poverty, Bath and North East Somerset holds position number 193, well into the bottom half of the list. Bath fares even better when considering the risk of child poverty, and moves further down the rankings to 218th. Bath’s worst result was attained based on the indicator of ‘likelihood to contain households whose income is less than 60 per cent of the median for England’, in which the county ranked at 125th. Experian is a credit reference company which collects and supplies data to credit card companies and banks about people and businesses and ‘lifestyle data’ from online surveys. They also provide information for the public sector. The indicators used to calculate the overall risk of poverty in each area take into account financial, social and health factors, and include the likelihood of the presence of households at risk of long-term unemployment, the likelihood to contain households at risk of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and the likelihood to contain households at risk of financial exclusion.
The area most at risk of falling into poverty was Middlesbrough, while Newham was the area most under threat from both child poverty and long-term unemployment. The data also shows that Hull is the area most likely to contain people currently living in poverty. In general, it has been observed that the data highlights the north south divide in England, with northern regions consistently ranking more highly across the range of poverty indicators. On the other hand,
the most ‘resilient’ areas are the City of London, Westminster, Richmond, Hertfordshire and Buckinghamshire. If you’re intending to avoid a life of poverty, the data would suggest that a move to South Buckinghamshire, Tandridge, South Northamptonshire or the Isles of Scilly - off the south-western tip of the Cornish peninsular - would be your best bet. These areas jointly lie at the last position on the list and therefore hold the lowest risk of overall poverty.
Anthony Masters bathimpact News Deputy athematicians from the University of Bath are working as part of a panEuropean project to help improve treatments of Type 2 diabetes. The Innovative Medicines Initiative, coalescing funds of over £37m from both the European Union and the pharmaceutical industry, is backing the Diabetes Research for Patient Stratification (DIRECT) consortium. The DIRECT consortium is joining academics from 21 universities with four pharmaceutical industry research groups. Type 2 diabetes is a metabolic disorder, currently affecting around 285 million people worldwide, compared with 30 million people in 1985. It is expected to affect 439 million people by 2030. Coordinated by pharmaceutical companies Sanofi and Eli Lilly, along with the University of Dundee, the DIRECT consortium aims to identify and validate biomarkers to temper different treatments to
Sugar counts Beer comp success M I
Tuesday13th March 2012
changes to the terms of student visas
he government have revealed potential plans to reduce the number of visas given out to overseas students who want to study in the UK. These new immigration plans pose several problems to the future of British tertiary education. Not only will these new visa restrictions mean that fewer students will gain places in UK universities but it also means that the education system will suffer significant losses in revenue and income, especially seeing as overseas students pay the highest fees of all students. This new plan for visas is also due to the government believing that these visas are not only being used for study but also allowing ‘students’ to legitimately work within the UK, which could be argued to be a factor increasing the decline in job availability that the UK is currently undergoing. This cut down on the number of visas given out also runs alongside the new plan to reduce the length of student visas. The government are looking into reducing the validity of visas merely up until the time a student has completed their degree, meaning that if someone
International students will be left searching for limited places is seeking to work in the UK after university they must seek a new and separate visa expressly allowing them to work, which is an entirely separate thing. As well as this students studying Architecture or Pharmacy, where students can only gain full qualifications after completing work experience after their degree, will not be able to fully qualify.
However, measures are being taken to stop this plan going through. Our own VP Community and Diversity, Naomi Mackrill is currently lobbying Bath Lib Dem MP, Don Foster, and also lobbying the University to include the qualifying year inside the degree programme so as to allow students to fully qualify. It is as yet unclear what the outcome will be.
exempt from paying the council tax fee. Introducing it for students means it could be used to fund the upkeep of local services such as the police force and refuse collection. The average household generally contributes around £1,000 each year to local authorities in the form of council tax. If the exemption was discontinued, the tax could add several hundred pounds to the annual cost of living for each student, both in university halls and in privately rented accommodation. Since the emergence of the Vernon-Jackson’s comment, Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg has been quick to defend the Coalition’s stance on student council tax, stating that his party is not in favour of axing the exemption policy. He stated that the comment was taken out of context and that ‘these minutes are not an accurate representation of what was a much broader policy discussion’. He stressed that the Portsmouth councillor was making a point about the need for greater control for councils at a local level, and was not intending to make a direct statement about the future of students’ council tax ex-
emption. It is understood that the Conservatives are also strongly opposed to the imposition of the tax on students. While it appears that there is no immediate threat to student council tax exemption under the
Imogen Grace Ware bathimpact Contributor A recent survey by LanesHealth the makers of herbal stress relief ‘Kalms’ shows that students are more stressed than ever. The research suggests that students are primarily concerned with meeting deadlines, with half of the students questioned claiming they often suffer from anxiety at least once a day and the other half experiencing stress related symptoms twice a week. High stress levels have contributed to a lack of vital sleep and incessant fatigue, not the usual culprits of partying, possible peer pressure or relationship problems. The poll, conducted by OnePoll, found 49% worry about meeting study deadlines and 46% about money; 27% claim to worry about exams and 21% about missing tutorials. In addition, feeling stressed has been shown to result in further emotional anxiety, with 26% witnessing their stress caused anger and tearfulness. Moreover 37% have experienced insomnia and 35% constant anxiety. Spokeswoman for Kalms, Hilary Lynn stated “There are lots of effective ways to combat stress... Taking yourself away from a
Student visa worries Study stresses Liv Hows tells of government policy
Drowning in your work... stressful situation, spending time with friends or loved ones and prioritising your workload with a to-do list can all help. If you’re still suffering, Kalms is an effective herbal remedy which helps you deal with everyday stresses and strains.” Finding the right solution and stress management technique that works for you is a key factor in doing well and performing at your best. Furthermore, 17% of students are concerned with affording good quality food and paying rent and bills on time, with 21% saying that a lack of peaceful sleep added to stress levels, highlighting Kalms’ important message “to listen to your body and diffuse stress whenever possible.”
Bethan Rees bathimpact Contributor
senior Liberal Democrat has suggested that local authorities should be free to impose council tax on students for the first time. The minutes of a meeting that took place last October between Communities Secretary Erik Pickles and several senior members of the Local Government Association have recently been released by the Department for Communities and Local Government.
The average council tax bill is £1000 a year In the meeting, leader of the Liberal Democrat Councillors and head of Portsmouth City Council, Gerald Vernon-Jackson, was quoted as saying: “Local authorities should have greater discretion over Council Tax exemptions and discounts, such as the student exemption”. Currently, residences occupied solely by full time students are
Uni is not a council tax free zone
Bath is already one of the most expensive places for students to live in the UK, but it is pretty Coalition Government, the comments appear to have reignited the controversy surrounding the Liberal Democrats’ commitment to its promises to the electorate during the 2010 election campaign. The revelation has provoked strong reactions from the Liberal
Democrats’ supporters, many of whom are students who remain disgruntled and sceptical after the party’s failure to comply with its promise to fight the rise in tuition fees. It is unknown how the Lib Dems will fair in the General Election in 2015.
Tuesday 13th March 2012
Putting pay back on the agenda
Kylie Barton looks at how the NUS and TUC have joined forces for students
he struggle to get the issue of unpaid internships on the agenda has increased in strength this month with the National Union of Students (NUS) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) joining forces to launch a year-long campaign. The aim of which is to increase pressure on the government to strengthen legislation. Other groups such as Intern Aware, Interns Anonymous and Graduate Fog will also be involved. The NUS sees unpaid interns as ‘victims’, current candidate for VP Higher Education Sophie Richardson stressed the importance of looking at the breadth of employers involved, including those from the charitable sector who she said should be ashamed that their ‘morality and ethics’ do not stretch out to their interns. Rachel Wenstone who is also standing, commented that it is the underlying causes of the
The campaign poster in use. ‘We can’t work for free’ and won’t
work for free culture that need to be addressed. She suggested the best way to do this would be to ensure ‘independent adjudicators actually have teeth’ calling current standards agencies ‘soulless’. The campaign will start by asking all campus based careers services to stop advertising unpaid placements which in the NUS words facilitate ‘exploitation’. The NUS are keen to utilise the whole student voice on this issue, so if you would like to share your related experience email email@example.com . The launch event happened at TUC Congress House in London on the 13th of February, where the TUC Rights for Interns app was unveiled and the NUS ‘Unfair, Unpaid, Illegal’ campaign officially began. The NUS has also worked in conjunction with the University and Colleges Union (UCU) to create a detailed document advising Students’ Unions on the issue. The document
covers issues such as ‘what constitutes and internship’ and ‘registering a complaint’. The TUC fears employers are ‘taking advantage of graduates’ desperation to find work in the democratic downturn’ and are exploiting them as free labour. The TUC stress the lack of awareness that non-payment is actually illegal for any intern performing ‘work-related tasks within set hours’ as any such work is protected under the minimum wage laws. Where the law is slightly unclear is in regard to the advertisement of such internships which is why many companies can get away with it. The TUC also discuss how is this most often a problem in the fields of journalism and PR which are under increasing threat of becoming dominated by only those from affluent backgrounds. Both the TUC and the NUS are keen to encourage individual Students’
NEET ideas? Student re-pain-ments T
he amount of 16 to 18 year olds not in education, employment or training (NEETs) has increased significantly leading to questions on the coalition’s policy towards young adults. The increase coincides with the government’s decision to scrap the education maintenance allowance (EMA) which gives funding to those from the lowest socio-economic groups. The blow to the coalition’s youth policy overlaps with the deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg’s, visit to City of Bath College to announce a large increase in funding for NEETs in the South West. The money will be primarily aimed at those who fail to gain A* to C grades at GCSE and who are at the greatest risk from long term disengagement. Nick Clegg stated that “in the current economic climate we urgently need to step up efforts to ensure some of our most troubled teenagers have the skills, confidence and opportunities to succeed”. He went on to say that the new Youth Contract will not rely solely on government money, but is also “calling on charities and other organisations at the coal face to work with Government to help tens of thousands of lost teenagers onto a brighter path."
The National Foundation for Employment Research in 2009 showed that 40 per cent of 16 and 17-year-olds not in education, employment or training face significant barriers to re-engagement once they fall out of the system. The coalition’s decision to cut the EMA, which was seen by many to be a lifeline to those from the poorest backgrounds, was due to it being an “inefficient and ineffective” scheme but James Mills, head of Save EMA campaign, claims otherwise. He states that the government “is creating a lost generation of young people and these figures are proof that there is now a growing invisible army of teenagers who have been cut loose by this government's decision to scrap EMA."
A lost generation of young people
James Mills The figures agree with Mr Mill’s. Compared to five years ago there are significantly more young people with no career prospects. In the three months to December 2006, some 810,000 young people between the ages of 16 and 24 were classified as NEET. In that same quarter last year, the figure had risen by 148,000.
Sophie Sachrajda bathimpact Contributor
Ben Butcher bathimpact Contributor
usiness Secretary Vince Cable has announced that the proposal to introduce a student loan early repayment penalty has been abandoned. Under the current system loan repayments are allowed without penalties and so ministers had been considering, as part of the coalition agreement, introducing annual charges of 5% on repayments to prevent wealthier students avoiding interest charges by paying back their loans within 30 years of leaving university. However, following a consultation process the government has decided that in fact the evidence suggests that those most likely to make early payments are those earning around £18,000. This decision is backed by the liberal think tank CentreForum who last year stated that the proposal would be ineffective as the main reason for early repayment is due to debt aversion and not wealth. Throughout the talks there had been shifting political divisions surrounding the question of whether this plan would advantage students from wealthy backgrounds. University and College Union general secretary, Sally Hunt, spoke up against the scrapping of this proposal, stating that the “Government should be prioritising how to make it easier for
Vince Cable’s announcement has caused some controversy poorer families to afford university rather than focusing on yet another policy designed to make life easier for the wealthiest in our society.” There had also been claims from consumer groups that early repayments on such low-cost loans would benefit the Treasury rather than students. Another point of controversy surrounding these talks was the fact that certain MPs have claimed that Cable abandoned the proposal as a “trade off” for making Les Ebdon the co-chief of university access, a controversial candidate who the Lib Dems had been very keen to appoint. The government is confident in their verdict, a Downing Street source has said that it should “hopefully be good news for tens
of thousands of families who had raised concerns about the penalties” and Business Secretary called the deal “fair sustainable and progressive”. Following the decision, parents of students have been advised by finance experts to not pay upfront using borrowed money or saving to pay off their children’s loans. The president of the NUS has also stressed the importance of ensuring that students do not feel any pressure to pay back their loans earlier than required. One thing that is certain about this policy decision is that it will allow students who are beginning their studies this Autumn to have a sense of clarity about the different repayment options they will be facing when they graduate.
Tuesday 16th March 2012
Why shouldn’t students be paid? S
hould interns be paid for their work? Yes, because they are working! There is a minimum wage in this country to ensure everyone gets paid a fair wage for their work and yet thousands of graduates go un-paid every year which seems entirely illogical and hugely unfair. Firms get a hardworking, enthusiastic pair of hands that will perform tasks with capability and confidence. Surely they shouldn’t get something for nothing?! In fact, interns give more than employees in some ways because I doubt after working somewhere for five years you jump at any task, ready to impress. So yes, interns are selling themselves short. And yes, they should be paid! Furthermore, being an intern is expensive. You either have to pay for accommodation close to the firm or commute from your home – both are very costly. Where does this money come from? I assume from your parents or other
relatives. It seems unfair to eat into your parents’ retirement fund because your employer is exploiting you! They were hoping you’d be financially independent, and they’d be sunning themselves in the Bahamas years ago, yet they’re still keeping you afloat while you try and develop your contacts and a career via a placement. Seems unfair, doesn’t it? But despite this, I urge you, not to go and negotiate a wage with the firm offering you an internship, but to bite your lip and be grateful you’ve got a placement! It is lovely to think that if you asked an employer to pay you for your time that they’d sign a cheque and hand it to you with a big smile but the reality is somewhat different; they’ll show you the door. Why? Because they could simply turn to one of the other 100 applicants that applied for that place and offer it to them. Graduates want a ‘foot in the door’ and are willing to work for free to get it – if you won’t work for nothing, someone else will. I don’t think asking to be
paid means you have a go-getting personality which companies will love, rather you cannot recognise the value of the opportunity being offered to you. In my opinion it is much better to have an internship (which may be an important stepping stone in
something similar to a furnace. When stuck in a small (or some may term it miniscule) bed one solution that people, myself included, opt for is spooning. Now spooning is again something that is better when you’re awake. I mean certainly it’s a preferable option when sleeping to being head to toe, with the recurring risk of waking up with a toe lodged in your mouth, or inhaling the smell of feet, but still I don’t understand how jamming your limbs together and entwining bodies back to front seems like a
logical solution! I admit that sharing a bed certainly has its perks: it can create closeness and be comforting in sad times, but these bonuses are largely only applicable to waking hours. I’ve often heard that the way you sleep and your sleeping preferences are a sign of your personality and in relationships can even signal the state of your relationship. I like sleeping miles away from anyone; I imagine a psychiatrist would have a field day with that bit of information.
Boardrooms will lack inters if employers fail to pay students
s it just me or does sharing a bed with someone seems slightly unnatural? I find it quite a fraught activity: the usual debate about who goes on what side, the hourly wake up to remove the offending limb that
...cuddling is dynamite. But sleeping is another thing. is pressing into your spine, the morning review of the night when you both decide you slept terribly. Don’t get me wrong the concept is lovely and sharing a bed when awake is wonderful, cuddling is dynamite. But sleeping is another thing. Whether it be friends, partners or if you’re that way inclined, strangers, I just don’t see how it is preferable to having room to thrash, move and wriggle to your heart’s content. Being a fresher, living in Eastwood, confined to the camp bed sized singles is the bane of my social and sleeping life. When people come to stay you have the nightly joy of facing another sleepless night as you attempt to avoid the Arctic wall, while at the same time trying not to overheat as your bedfellow’s stomach pressed against your back turns you into
Cwtch, cuddle, spoon Liv Hows bathimpact Deputy
your career) and moan about money to your friends at the pub on a Friday night, than have no internship and moan about your ever decreasing employability to your mum every night over dinner. Experience in a work environment is invaluable in a competitive jobs
Maddie Winn bathimpact Contributor
We all know how it can sometimes feel as uncomfortable as this looks
market so don’t jeopardise it with foolish demands for pay; suck it up. It is true, to firms, interns provide free labour but this is when a company may not be confident enough to take on a new employee and this does give an intern the opportunity to make the employer realise the benefits of taking on another well-educated addition to their team. There is the possibility for the intern of finding permanent employment. However, if the ‘free’ labour is no longer ‘free’, taking on interns becomes much less attractive for firms. So if interns demand to be paid, they are effectively shooting themselves in the foot. Unless the government abolish all internships or ensure all interns are paid, the best answer for graduates is to take an internship (without demanding anything) and make the most of it; paid or unpaid. It feels wrong that I am encouraging you to work for nothing, but I’m being realistic; the real world is motivated by money and if you want a way into that world, you need to be willing to not make any!
Why we should care about Kony 2012 from bathimpact’s Alice Oakley
’m sure by now most of you have seen the “KONY 2012” video that has spread like wildfire round social network sites. The film is a campaign, created by Invisible Children, which aims to make Joseph Kony famous, not to celebrate him, but to make him known and raise support for his arrest. Joseph Kony is a Ugandan guerrilla group leader, head of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA). The LRA has abducted and forced an estimated 66,000 children to fight for them, and has also forced the internal displacement of over 2,000,000 people since its rebellion began in 1986. Children are abducted from their homes and turned into sex slaves and soldiers, forced to murder and maim from a young age. As if Kony’s crimes aren’t bad enough, he is not fighting for any cause and is not supported by anyone, but is simply trying to maintain his own power. As a result children in the region live in constant fear of being taken, in fear of being forced to kill their families and friends, and in fear of their own deaths.
The KONY 2012 focuses on one young Ugandan boy, Jacob, whose brother was abducted and killed by the LRA, and who says that he would rather die then stay living in constant fear of Kony. This whole campaign stems from the promise made to Jacob that we can do everything in our power to stop this happening. Over the past nine years, Invisible Children has fought to fulfill this promise. And this year is the year that this promise can be fulfilled, to stop the LRA and Joseph Kony. In order to do this, the international community and the population of the world need to know who he is and campaign to stop his crimes. Activism has erupted across the world, and here, in Bath a Kony cover the night event is also planned. ‘Where you live shouldn’t determine whether you live’. These African children and families have been invisible to policymakers in the past, but now we can make Kony known and put pressure on governments to intervene, with money and troops, to stop the LRA and arrest Kony.
Tuesday 13th March 2012
Sarah-Jane Lavery bathimpact Contributor
TV’s spectacularly popular dating show “Take Me Out” is an entertaining programme, in the league of “Blind Date” in our parents’ time and “Big Fat Gypsy Weddings” in our own, that we look forward to every Saturday night. We ridicule the participants, we delight in host Paddy McGuinness’ quirky one-liners (“Let the sausage, see the roll”), and we even use it as the base for drinking games before nights out (two fingers every time the crazy blonde girl laughs hysterically at nothing). Any avid Take Me Out fan will be fully aware of the hilariously disastrous episode a few weeks ago in which poor Damion Merry was completely and utterly torn to pieces by the High Court Dating Judges Paddy so fondly calls “the girls”. The ex-boyfriend of Jodie Marsh singlehandedly managed to insult all thirty of the girls by revealing that he had already chosen one girl from the beginning, and that he categorically wasn’t looking for a blonde (the only girls left with their lights on were blonde). But was the uproar surrounding his comments justified? The whole premise of the show is a forum for shallowness, superfi-
was simply based on hurt pride and demonstrates nothing but hypocrisy. The girls have the power to turn off their lights as soon as the contestants step out of the love lift, and many of them do so frequently. Thus the fact that Damion admitted to having noticed Lucy above all the other girls was not, in fact, a case of cocky arrogance, but merely brutal honesty. To add to that, the girls, over-styled and caked in make up, are clearly expecting to be judged on their aesthetic value – what else do the guys have to go on? Damion was simply speaking out loud what both the girls and the guys must be thinking each round. The public and the media were undoubtedly unfair to judge him so quickly. Admittedly, I can’t deny that he clearly needs a lesson in tact, diplomacy and perhaps chivalry, but the death threats he received after appearing on the show were maybe a few steps too far. As far as I can tell from first appearances, Damion is not arrogant and self-righteous, but in reality just a bit of an idiot who needs to learn not to repeatedly put his foot in his own mouth on national television. Interestingly, a similar situation occurred when our very own
Some of the contestants for RAG’s evening of ‘Take me Out’ ciality and uninformed judgement. Having made an entrance via the “Love Lift”, the guys then parade themselves in front of the thirty girls who will then either leave their lights on, or turn them off purely based on first impressions and either a quick video from a friend/relative or a “talent” (which have previously included resembling Thierry Henry and milking a fake cow…). Clearly, the show does not provide a breeding ground for secure and stable relationships. The outrage of the girls, not to mention the public and the media, surrounding Damion’s comments
RAG society put on their version of ‘Take Me Out’. The roles were reversed and the prestigious “no likey, no lighty” power was placed in the hands of a panel of 15 guys. When a male contestant was asked why he turned his light off for one of the girls he rudely and insultingly referred to her overuse of teeth in a previous experience... So, there we have it. Whether they’re judging, being judged or trying to get a girl, maybe it’s just all guys that need a lesson in tact when it comes to dating. But then where would we get our Saturday night entertainment…?
next for Occupy? Take me too far? What bathimpact’s Julia Fioretti ponders its successes
Occupy Bristol in its infancy. Tents and plaquards have been the bread and butter of the movement
hen the Occupy London movement pitched its tents in the churchyard of St Paul’s Cathedral in London last October, it sent shockwaves through the suit-clad City workers to the whole country. Building on the momentum from other protest camps worldwide, such as Occupy Wall Street, the protesters outside St Paul’s denounced the capitalist system and the ensuing inequality. Commentators were keen to interpret the resurgence of protest movements as a portent of an imminent sea change in western society, perhaps fuelled by nostalgia for the social ferment of the 1960s. These predictions proved to be unfounded, or in any case premature. The excitement aroused by the camp soon died down as legal proceedings with the City of London Corporation got under way to ultimately result in the eviction of the protesters on 28th February. The Occupy movement in Zuccotti Park in New York had already been evicted back in December and Occupy Bath cleared the tents in Queen Square the same month. As Laurie Penny from the New Statesman wrote, “the political establishment is making its message clear, in the manner of a hostess trying gently to expel the last unwelcome guests at the end of a party: stretching, ostentatiously tidying up and talking loudly about how cold it is outside”. The question now is, what have these movements achieved? And will they be remembered? To look for a concrete achieve-
ment one must first start from the objectives, and these were rather like a crème brulée: seemingly sturdy on the outside only to reveal themselves soft after you dig a little. Occupy London sought to fight corporate greed and “make [their] voices heard against the crisis which the banks have created”. Some very lofty aims indeed. But fighting corporate greed is not as clear cut as it seems, whilst making one’s voice heard need not take 5 months. Joan Smith, a human rights campaigner, believes that “once you’ve met your aims, it’s crucial to take
Occupy London were evicted from St. Paul’s on 28th Febraury 2012 your cause forward and I’m not sure continuing to stay outside St Paul’s Cathedral takes these protesters’ political objectives any further”. Perhaps, then, we are wrong to look for concrete aims in the Occupy London protesters and even the movement worldwide. Michael Chessum, one of the leaders of the student protests, believes that developing concrete demands now would be premature. One must not interpret “fighting corporate greed” as an insular objective, for it is connected to a deeper societal malaise with the capitalist paradigm that has dominated western society for three decades. It would also be wrong to focus excessively on the “we are the 99%” mantra, for whilst the protesters do call for an end to the expanding
schism between the super rich and the rest of society, they feel that the system has failed them as a whole, of which social inequality is simply one aspect. The Occupy London movement has thus been a “standing reminder that the force of capitalism may not be what its champions say it is”, raising awareness of the failings of capitalism simply through their presence and stimulating more public debate on the issue. Awareness and debate may die down, however. Occupy London’s eviction did not elicit the same interest as its inception. Taken alone, the movement has neatly blended into the plethora of groups that make up our civil society, and its “anti-capitalist discourse has not disappeared so much as soaked in, like a stain into a carpet”. Yet context is key; the resurgence in social tumult over the past year signals that people are prepared to stand together and denounce what they perceive as an unfair system. This perception is strong enough to instigate protest camps and is unlikely to fade away simply because the tents have come down. Occupy London has not been an agent of change, but it has highlighted the extent of popular resentment with capitalism, whether founded or not, and is a prelude of more to come. We may not be in an interregnum between the crisis and a new system, but the discontent is there and clearly discernible. Meanwhile, life in St Paul’s churchyard will return to business as usual, replete with tourists and City acolytes.
Tuesday 13th March 2012
The many injustices of false hope Michael Patrick responds to Christiana Langma’s article in the last bathimpact
as doctors and medication; but isn’t it strange that according to these studies, God only ever seems to use mediums that are indistinguishable from human ones! Does he ban himself from any medium that can’t already be utilised independently by medical science? This argument is a clear example of attempting to have one’s cake and eat it. Disputing the claim of ‘lack of
evidence’, the article discussed the testimonies of individuals who have found the group’s prayers effective; but this logic is patently absurd. Scour the internet and you can find testimonies to support anything and everything – astrology, homeopathy, faith-healing, dowsing, etc. Should we then accept, unquestioningly, the truth of all the above, based on nothing more than anonymous, often contradic-
tory, personal testimony? But what does it matter if prayer doesn’t actually work? ‘How could it possibly be wrong’, Langma argues, to impart the feeling of hope to another person. The answer is simple; the hope being imparted will never be fulfilled! All the sincerest hope in the world will not promote a successful recovery from cancer, or Alzheimer’s disease. And when, for example, a
close family member does die, in spite of all the prayers that have been said for their recovery, the family is not going to find much meaning or happiness in the stark reality that their prayers have gone unanswered. How much better it would be for them, surely, to accept that their loved one is going to die, and to make the most of every single second that they still have. The truth is that to give another human being false hope is cruel and heartless, and while it might result in temporary happiness, hope and joy, it only ever ends in disillusionment, despair and pain. I myself happen to value truth, honesty and integrity above all things. Comforting lies may have reassured me when I was a small boy, but I’m grown up now. I’m capable of dealing with the challenges life throws at me without relying on the ineffective support of (in my opinion) a non-existent God. Of course, those of you who believe in a God are free to do so, but understand that unless and until you can provide substantial evidence that your God does what you say he does, you have no right to go around presenting those beliefs as fact - which is exactly what the HOTS leaflets did.
tainly not equal. If there’s one argument that really gets to me, that makes me shake my head in despair, it’s the ‘what next’ argument. ‘What next’, they say, ‘before long, people will be marrying animals and children…’ Yeah, because a child can consent to lifetime union... Fools. They forget, of course, that this argument was once used against mixed-race marriage. I’m still waiting for society to come crashing down for allowing that to happen. So what of this civil partnership? Many couples have stood before their families and friends to display their commitment to one another. But is this partnership really enough? Let me answer that for you – NO! It strikes me that it’s rather like giving one of you children cake and the other a mere photo of one. But why? Gay people deserve their cake! How, in today’s society are they forbidden from marriage? Is there really, truly, a sound reason why this should be the case? I’ll answer that question too – NO. The argument, on my part, is simple. I can do it with virtually no mention of religion, which always gets
tangled up in this debate; people say that allowing two men or two women to marry one another would destroy the institution of marriage. But it would not destroy it. I would not even weaken it. By far and away, the marriage of gay couples would make marriage stronger. As I see it, we have an incredibly tainted history of forced marriages, arranged marriages and marriages of social convenience, just look at Pride and Prejudice. For centuries, girls have been married off to men of their parents’ choosing, and the social status of a man determined his appropriateness for a woman’s hand in marriage. Not an especially romantic notion of marriage is it? This is no longer the case, or no longer accepted anyway. So, if it’s no longer a matter of social standing, what is it? Well, it’s a love affair of course, it is about a symbol, a universal sign of the commitment between two people. So what would be better than making marriage open to all, allowing any couple to show how much they mean to one another? This change must happen. It’s in the pipeline. Equal civil marriages
may soon be the norm, and you only have to surf YouTube for five seconds to give you all the evidence you need that this is what people want. Convinced? Of course you are you liberal bunch, you! But many, from Rick Santorum to Ann Widdecombe, who sometimes seem to
children to learn tolerance. I’m not quite sure how this makes sense but apparently it does to some. So to these people I say to go away and have a little think about what’s really best for society and take this lesson with you: If you tell someone they can’t marry you’re telling them
live with their heads up their bottoms, insist otherwise, muddying the name of faith and freedom with their bizarre ideas of what it is to be normal. Seemingly, they do not want more freedom, or for our
they are doing something wrong, that they are not worth as much as other people. And that’s just stupid. Who wants a world like that? I certainly don’t. Do you? No, of course you don’t. Spread the word.
hristiana Langma (February 20th) is perfectly entitled to her belief in a God who heals, and I agree with her, to a certain extent, that any organisation should be allowed to freely express its religious beliefs. Freedom of speech and religion are fundamental human rights, and I would not deny them to anyone. Nevertheless, when religion makes factual claims that are testable in the realm of science, and which have the potential to cause great damage if not true, it is absolutely right that those claims should be challenged, especially if those making them provide no substantial evidence to support them - which is exactly what happened with the group ‘Healing on the Streets of Bath’. The simple fact is that there is no substantial evidence whatsoever to suggest the existence of a divine being who heals people in response to prayer. All the studies that I am aware of, (for example Mathai, J. and Bourne, A. ), have shown no link whatsoever between intercessory prayer and patient outcome. Now Langma tells us that this kind of argument misunderstands what Christians mean by prayer, and that God can use any medium he chooses, such
Science and Relgion don’t see eye to eye on many things, especially what to watch on TV...
Hugo Verity bathimpact Contributor
eople fight for their rights. It’s something that we all do best. But you don’t have to be gay to understand the issue of gay marriage. Like a row of dominoes, countries everywhere are starting to understand that to grant gay couples legal marriage is about giving ordinary people the rights they deserve. Yet, globally and nearer to home,
Prejudice still saturates all corners of officialdom and society
this is still not the case. We have nothing to worry about in this country, of course - ah, Britannia, the land of freedom and liberty where we can live our lives as equals, how I love thee! Well, it’s a lovely thought, but an untrue one, sadly. Prejudice still saturates all corners of officialdom and society ‘You have civil partnerships, you are equal!’ they cry, seemingly oblivious to the contradiction that as they kick up a fuss, all couples are most cer-
Gay marriage; the last rights battle
Tuesday 13th March 2012
NUS host first student press conference Elections season is upon us! bathimpact asks the candidates running in this year’s NUS elections about Article 4, unpaid internships and more...
embers from student media organisations all across the country were invited to the NUS headquarters in London at the end of last month for the first Student Press Conference. The event gave members of student media the chance to question candidates standing for election this April. The organisers highlighted the importance of engaging students and said the event was arranged to ‘facilitate student media and promote accessibility’.There are six positions up for election; VP Further Education (VPFE), VP Higher Education (VPHE), VP Society and Citizenship (VPSC), VP Union Development (VPUD) and VP Welfare (VPW). The sixth position is NUS President, who will be the chief representative of students in the UK. The president also ensures the NUS is run smoothly and accurately represents the political views of the membership. VPFE is the spokesperson for all the issues affecting those in FE institutions, which is arguably of increasing importance as compulsory education rises to 17 in 2014. There are two candidates running for this position. Jamil Keating declined the invitation to attend the event, and Toni Pearce (incumbent) highlighted the need for better representation of FE issues at a national level, which would require a ‘cultural change’ to see FE issues being dealt with by FE representatives and FE unions having a greater deal of autonomy. Toni also discussed EMA, stating that it ‘wasn’t perfect, but is much better than what is being offered now’. VPHE holds the same duties as VPFE, but for Higher Education institutions. There are four candidates running for the position; Al Hussain Abutaleb (who declined the invitation to attend), Michael Chessum, Sophie Richardson and Rachel Wenstone. bathimpact editor asked candidates about unpaid placements. Michael said “it is also another hidden course cost, which has a socially regressive effect on education… it leads to student poverty and students having to choose between books and food”.
Sophie commented that such internships are elitist, continuing; “we can do more to work holistically across the zones on this issue”. Rachel stated the importance of students having access to the same experience at University “we have a real responsibility here in terms of widening participation… it shouldn’t be reliant on the amount of support coming from home”. Other reporters asked why all candidates had focussed on Post Graduate study,
an effort to ban kettling which Dannie said is ‘an infringement on human rights’. VPUD is responsible for dealing with engagement, activities and services, as well as promoting activism, leadership and democracy and ensuring the stability of individual students’ unions. There are five candidates for this position; Vicki Baars, Rebecca Bridger, Thomas Hollick, Christina Yan Zhang and Luke Young. Discus-
gional initiatives. Luke cited his experience at NUS Wales and championed Officer’s forums as the best form of communication: face-to-face. “It is not for the NUS to dictate what those messages should be” but he said there are more direct mechanisms needed. VPW has a wide job spec including campaigning for housing rights, for equality, and work to support students from disadvantaged backgrounds. The candidates running are Pete Mercer
Kylie Barton NUS Delegate 2012 firstname.lastname@example.org
The presidential candidates; Ali, Burns, Sesay, Marsh (Claire Locke declined the invitation to attend) all candidates stressed how PG stu- sion centred on how SU’s are reliant (incumbent), Sean Rillo-Raczka and dents’ needs have been forgotten by on block grants from Universities, and Edward Bauer (declined to attend). All government, and NUS has ‘a chance its effect on student union autonomy. candidates discussed student mental to lead’ on this issue. bathimpact asked about how candi- health as an issue that needs addressDannie Grufferty (incumbent) dates will streamline the NUS’s com- ing. bathimpact asked about housing, and Jamie Woodcock are running for munication strategy for individual and how the candidates proposed to VPSC. VPSC’s role is to encourage stu- SU’s. Tom said the problem with com- support Students’ Unions with regards dents to get involved in community munication currently is a “one size to Article 4. Pete championed his acaction and charitable projects, as well fits all model”. He admitted that the tion points this year and said how difas campaigning for greener campuses NUS do not in fact represent 7 million fering local council policies makes it a and human rights protection for stu- students as commonly claimed, even difficult issue. Pete said “I have been dents. The candidates also were asked focussing on the areas which may set The NUS has a ‘chance a dangerous precedent”. Sean stated about unpaid placements, Dannie commented “it is illegal to work for to lead’ on the issue of that the issue was the standards of free, but it is not illegal to advertise Postgraduate study housing and costs, as some students the position… which is why people get “are forced into working”. He continaway with it” she also said that there though students “do have ownership ued to discuss the growing numbers should be a policy which restricts the of NUS”. Vicky said ‘for far too long we of students living at home, and how positions university careers services have expected our message to trickle benefit cuts will affect these students. can advertise. Jamie said “it is un- down’, she said that there needs to be Both candidates agreed that Article 4 acceptable; we need to build on the more direct link between the NUS and is part of a wider problem of housing smaller projects that already exist”. the student body through better me- in the UK. On student protests, Sean bathimpact asked how candidates will dia relations. She also admitted that stressed that he felt the NUS were too encourage activism after the problems the current website is poor. Rebecca timid, whereas Pete focussed on the of kettling this year. Jamie said there said that communication is a two way fact that you need arguments to be put are two sides to this problem; he said thing, and that some unions lack the forward to back up the action. NUS must fully support those who capacity to have good communicaThere are five candidates running were arrested, and to ‘not take the tion strategies beyond emails, which for President. Usman Ali, Ed Marsh, wave of oppression coming at us as a “stems from a lack of understanding” Liam Burn (incumbent), Kanjay Sesay reason not to protest as that is exactly of individual students’ unions. Chris- and Claire Locke who declined the inwhy they are doing it’. Dannie raised tina had an intuitive answer with the vitation to attend. All of whom faced the case of the Alphie Meadows cam- idea of utilising the Second Life avatar a questions relating to the shelved HE paign, and discussed how the NUJ software to enhance communications white paper, priorities for the year have been conversing with the EU in and to link up local national and re- and widening participation. Kanjay
stated finance as the most important factor for the following year of action, for Usman it was access and widening participation, for Liam as current president, “consistency and momentum” were cited as most important, and for Ed it was championing the value of education as a whole. A question was put forth about Vice Chancellor’s receiving pay rises, something which has recently occurred at Bath at a time of cuts. Usman said “It is absolutely disgraceful… there needs to be more transparency… it is ethically and morally wrong”. Liam discussed how student’s involvement in governance and in selecting the VC is “far too patchwork”. Liam continued to say that there are a number of ideas such as students having the power to vote for University budgets among other things. Ed stressed his belief that it should be on an institution by institution basis by ratio, citing Harvard at 320 to 1. Kanja championed the role of student papers in raising awareness in the student body so that such ‘injustice’ can be challenged. bathimpact asked about the differences stances on widening participation, Ed Marsh spoke about the low electoral turnout, and stated the need to reach out to those who are not in the ‘traditional’ student group. Kanja focused on the underrepresentation of ethnic minorities within individual Student Unions and the need to open up hours of access to representatives to encourage wider engagement. Uslan focussed on the fact that the UK is one of the most unequal in the western world, he said “students need to be the new legs of aim higher to inspire young people”, he also spoke about retention rates. Liam focussed on how the system is about to dramatically change, how alternatives such as the Open University is more popular now and on the importance of the social capital and networks gained in HE. All those involved said it was a fantastic opportunity and they will look forward to attending future events, a sentiment echoed by its organisers. For more information about the candidates or the positions please go to: www.nusconnect.org.uk/conference/elections
Your delegates at NUS conference , elected to vote on your behalf are: David Howells, Naomi Mackrill, Kylie Barton and Henry Rackley. Please contact them with queries or if you wish your preferences to be known.
Tuesday 13th March 2012
Sure enough the topic of Palestine was raised quite early in the session, with Ron-Snir commenting; “everyone thinks I will bash them… I won’t. I know we all make mistakes… we are right in many aspects, they are right in some. He also stressed the importance of looking forward as opposed to looking back. As an Israeli citizen he said “all I want is a Jewish state, I only ask for one, not many as some religions ask”. This was a part picked up on by a Palestinian student in the audience
Alon Ron-Snir faces students who stressed the Palestinians right to self-determination and that in fact there ‘is enough land’ for both groups. On questions posed regarding Iran, Ron-Snir provided an emotive response in stating “for me it is not a question of a country acquiring Nuclear capabilities, it is a question of whether that country seeked to eliminate Israel. It is not an academic ques-
tion but a real fear we face every day”. He continued “Iran is playing a hegemonic game in the Middle East, it is not just propaganda… they are trying to spread their fingers around the Middle East and trying to shape it”. Ron-Snir also refuted claims that Israelis had been heavy handed in Gaza and that there was certainly no blockage in place to stop aid reaching the region claiming “there is no hunger in Gaza”. Off the back of this, Phil Irvine asked a question about the democratic legitimacy and of Israel and the protection of rights within it, to which the Deputy Ambassador said; “for me we are a democratic society” but he stated the media mix up this image. Mr Irvine worked with Amnesty International to compose petitions for the event one of which calling for equal rights regardless of religion. My Irvine said “despite his reply, there are discriminatory laws based on religion in Israel, notably in the lease of land and rights to citizenship”. In just five hours the petition calling for ‘equal rights for all citizens, regardless of race or religion and to reverse all legislation that allows discrimination on the basis of race or religion’ gained over 200 signatures in just five hours. bathimpact asked the Deputy Ambassador what made him come to Bath. He replied “”It is an important University. I should have come here months ago, and when I heard of the society I thought it would be a fruitful experience.” When asked on his opinion about the range of questions RonSnir said; “I was very impressed, the audience was very knowledgeable”.
European Diplomacy Megan Marks bathimpact Contributor
ominic Brett, the Head of Public Diplomacy for the European Commission in the UK visited campus last week as part of Politics Month. Over 60 people turned out for the event including lecturers in Politics Sue Milner, Adrian Hyde-Price and Lisbeth Aggestam who chaired the event. Aggestam introduced Brett by telling students “this is an indication of the career you can have”, and Brett rebutted this stating “most people say they wouldn’t do my job for all the tea in China at the moment”. Brett said how he was pleased to come to Bath as “it is the foremost in the UK for European Studies”. The event was slightly different, unfolding in a lecture type style as opposed to the more dynamic debates had by the society. Brett began by describing the lack of UK nationals with-
in the EU, he cited poor language skills as the main reason for this; a topic which has been of much debate of late (including in bathimpact). Brett did praise the Commission for the handling of its “relatively small” budget of 130b Euros stating “it needs to be spent properly… and actually, it is!” The bulk of the talk focussed on the
You wouldn’t do my job for all the tea in China!
Dominic Brett debt crisis and the increasingly strict measures being put in place by the Commission in what Brett described as ‘an alphabet soup’ of directives. He continued “we are concentrating on the crisis because we should”. Brett also defended Cameron’s infamous decision, saying “if he signed, he would have been forced to hold a referendum, which would have been lost; [there-
fore] his decision was more intellectually strategic than given credit for”. Aggestam started the round of questions asking about the current role of the Commission, to which Brett responded by stating his belief that the role has shifted to allow the commission to “bare its fangs” when needed. A self-proclaimed ‘Eurosceptic’ said how Nation states will always be governed by self-interest especially in relation to economics, to this Brett responded; “sanctions will never be popular” and that there needs to be “mind-set reform in countries concerned”. The issue of Greece was raised and Brett turned the question back on the students, asking what they would do? Yesterday it was announced Nigel Farage will be the next guest. The leader of UKIP will be coming to the University on Monday the 19th giving a talk entitled ‘Why the UK should leave the EU’; bathimpact looks forward to seeing how that debate unfolds…
Politics month in Bath An Israeli visitor makes for a great debate...
Emma Clarke bathimpact Contributor he Deputy Ambassador of Israel, Alon Ron-Snir joined students at the University for a debate on campus last month. Over fifty students signed up for the event on bathstudent, and the lecture hall steadily packed out with those eager to ask questions. Members of the Palestinian Solidarity Group turned up, hoping to get a seat without prior booking, but the Politics Society regrettably had to turn them away as ‘students and staff who have their name on the list get priority’. The group also had to keep to a restricted number agreed prior to the day with the University, due to the security issues of getting such a high profile figure to come and speak with students. Ron-Snir asked not to be recorded for the session, as he felt that he could be ‘less open’ if so, which he expressed was not what the students would want. The Deputy Ambassador had previously held positions representing Israel at the UN and in Europe and was keen to show his support for social media initiatives and grass roots movements. He lead up to the start of the questions by stating “I wish I could forget the front pages and just think of sheep and lesser problems” which evoked laughter from the audience. Ron-Snir was also very keen to ensure students knew they could ask anything of him, and said “if you do not ask about the Palestinian settlement I will ask myself”.
The Foster forum Kylie Barton bathimpact Editor in Chief email@example.com
ocal Lib Dem MP Don Foster came to campus last month as part of The Politics Society’s chain of events. The turnout for the event was reasonably low in comparison to previous events, but the quality of questions posed by students certainly made up for the lack of numbers. Foster was clear from the beginning that the students would lead the direction of the session stating “politicians can bore for Britain so let’s just do what you want”. After a little description about what it is like to be an MP, and admitting that you can make up your own job description, Don again pushed forward a point repeatedly made in his visits to the University; that getting into bed with the Tories meant that the Lib Dems could actually influence some policies even if regrettably those didn’t include tuition fees. He said “I will work with others if I don’t have to compromise on my beliefs”, some would say that is exactly what happened. Students were keen to gauge Foster’s stance on all matters Europe, with which he responded that actually the Tories’ policies differ very little from their own, but that it is just hidden under a blanket of rhetoric which redirect the focus from the main points. Foster was also questioned about the affect the Coalition will have on the Lid Dems as a standalone party. Foster stated that it would be impossible to really know until after the third year, when statistics show the minor partner either experiences an “upward or downward bounce” in the poll ratings. He also commented that locally, membership has in fact increased, although admitting it is too soon to tell if this positive trend will continue. On Article 4 Foster was very vocal. First he said that it must be acknowledged that the two universities have huge cultural and economic benefits to the city. He said; “anyone who wants to do anything to damage the university is off their trolleys”. Foster stated that he is supportive of University development, to the effect that the land the university stands on is publicly owned and proposals for development have been supported, even though this means eating into the green belt. Interestingly, he said “[the accusation that] pissed students in the town
centre puts off tourists is a load of bollocks”, and continued to discuss the huge shortage of affordable housing in the area. Foster stressed the need to “find a balance” and find “what limits we need to set”. He also said that there was huge scope for more purpose built accommodation in the near future with local MOD sites becoming vacant. Unpaid placements is a hot topic at the moment and so it was inevitable Foster would be challenged on the point. He stated that Nick Clegg has been very active on this point, and has been successful in getting 1000 top firms to sign up to an initiative to pay students. The new initiative includes selection being ‘name blind’ to combat the ‘who you know not what you know’ stigma surrounding the issue, adherence to minimum wage legislation which Foster said the government needs to keep tighter checks on. Foster also said that how jobs are advertised needs to be placed under harsher scrutiny and that there needs to be a clearer distinction between ‘work experience’ and actual work. He used the example of his own office (where he said it is classed as experience and therefore is unpaid) whereby work carried out is for the educational and experiential benefit of the student as opposed to aiding the running of the organisation. When asked about his appearance at the Bath chapter of Occupy, Foster stated he was concerned about those who were deviating away from the central aims of the movement and drawing in separate issues such as that of Libya. He championed activists stating; “I am impressed with people that make steps to help causes they agree with”. He also expressed his concern at the lack of youth participation in more traditional channels such as political parties, stating that this is fact is the way forward but also acknowledging that the lack of engagement “is probably our fault”. Foster seemed dumfounded when posed with a question about the NUS’s latest announcement including a walk out, and was keen to encourage students to engage with the issue in a more productive way (such as contacting him), and also to have clearer objectives - a sentiment echoed by our SU. So if you have any queries about the issues discussed contact Don Foster and his team on firstname.lastname@example.org
Tuesday 13th March 2012
Article 4 draws near Lots of Union
opportunities David Howells SU President email@example.com
Naomi Mackrill VP Community and Diversity firstname.lastname@example.org
he countdown to the decision on the future of student housing in Bath has begun. On Wednesday 14th March, at 6.30pm, Bath and North East Somerset Cabinet will be meeting in the Guildhall to discuss and decide on an Article 4 Direction for Bath. If you’re reading this after that date then the future of housing has probably already been decided… (check www.BathStudent.com/article4 for the outcome) This is a decision that will affect students for years and years to come and one that you should feel empowered to influence. Article 4 Direction has been a topic for discussion for a good few months now, and it was only last week that the final proposals were released. If these go through, then it is more likely than not that Bath will be subject to an Article 4 Direction on Houses of Multiple Occupation from April 2013. As it is a proposal aimed at shared housing, not just student housing, anyone who plans to still be in Bath after this is implemented will be affected. There are many, many, many arguments for and against an Article 4 Direction, but as one of the main stakeholders who will be actually affected by this, it is imperative that we are listened to. It is all to easy for the local councillors to introduce policy that makes them popular with long term residents, who are more likely to vote, which is not something we can really blame them for. However, that means that we need to stand up and be counted when we get the chance. This is our chance.
The proposals that will actually be voted on are: “The cabinet agrees that: a) Notice is given of the Council’s “intention to implement” and Article 4 Direction over Houses in Multiple Occupation in the City of Bath, b) A 6 week public consultation being undertaken, with results being considered before any implementation of the Article 4 Direction, c) authority is delegated to the
This is a decision that will affect students for years to come and one you should feel empowered to influence it Divisional Director for Planning & Transport, in conjunction with the Cabinet Member for Planning and Housing, to prepare and publish the Article 4 Direction Schedule, d) a Supplementary Planning Policy is prepared as part of the local Development Framework to enable implementation of the Article 4 Direction, e) the results of the public consultation are considered by Cabinet in no less than 12 months from the notice of the Article 4 Direction to enable consideration as to whether the Article 4 Direction should be confirmed, abandoned or amended, and f) Evidence is gathered to ascertain whether the legislative conditions for introducing additional licensing can be met, and if so, undertake a 10 week public consultation exercise which will inform the design of any such designation. The outcome of this process will be subject to a further report to Cabinet where a decision will be made
whether to implement additional licensing and if so, whether all or part of the District to be subject to additional licensing for classes of HMOs specified by the Council.” By attending the Cabinet meeting on Wednesday 14th, we are showing the Cabinet that we *do* care about the decision, that we are *not* going to be apathetic if they vote for it and that the needs of students living in the city *are* important. We mustn’t forget that whatever the outcome, this isn’t the end. If the council vote against an Article 4 Direction, then there will be other plans coming along and it is important to look at these and how they affect students as well as other residents of Bath. If the council vote for an Article 4 Direction, there will be a period of 6 week public consultation, the results of which will be considered when making a second decision on Article 4. If this occurs then we will have to get all residents on board to oppose the proposals, which is one battle in itself.
Beautiful Bathonian homes
This is a scene not often viewed. Article 4 will see queues worsen and images like this gone forever
ast week saw the crowning of five new sabbs to lead the Union into 2013 (or the apocalypse, depending on your faith in Mayan arithmetic). Many, especially those poor individuals who live of campus, may think this is the end of the journey that is democracy. They are, of course, wrong. The full-time student officers have been elected, but this week sees the opening of nominations for an array of positions for students to take up alongside their studies next year. Seven executive committees, which are the hearts of student-led activities, will be holding elections in the next fortnight, so it’s time to consider standing.
ulty or school. The same opportunities will be available in October for postgraduate students on all courses, and all faculty reps come together at Academic Exec. The six other execs cover student activities: Development & Enterprise, Diversity & Support, Media, Societies, Sports Association and Volunteering. Each one offers opportunities for everyone. Good a leading and directing? Chair/office roles let you take the lead in your area. Like writing, talking and generally getting the message out there? Publicity. Balancing the books your thing? Treasurers are always in short supply. Each exec offers its own opportunities, and you should check out any you’re interested in, maybe by speaking to students involved now. Some positions are only open to students already a member of an associated society or club, whereas
Get involved with groups like Media for fun and the CV! First up: faculty reps. In each of the faculties and the School of Management two undergraduate posts will be available for students to represent their peers at a local level, and bring together the issues raised by student reps in individual departments. The role includes attending several important University committees, and gives the opportunity to mix liaising with senior figures and championing real student needs across 2012/13. Many faculty reps have been academic reps, but is by no means a necessity, and any undergraduate student can run or vote within their fac-
some (such as Diversity & Support) are open to everyone. These are all great opportunities to get involved in the things you love, and like all such opportunities the experiences and skills students develop in these roles will allow them to excel once they leave. But if there isn’t something here for you, never fear: the elections journey doesn’t end with these either, as the chance to get involved in running clubs, societies and other groups will come up over the next month. Until then, remember one thing: even if you’re not running, it’s always good to vote!
Discover. Create. Inform.
Tuesday 13th March 2012
Your guide to: how to make an impact next year!
Kylie - Editor Being Editor has truly been the most fulfilling part of my University career. The experience has allowed me to extend my network and enhance my leadership, team work and organisation skills. I get to decide pagination, lay-out and have the final sign off. The best part is having the satisfaction of watching students pick up the paper which me and the team put so much work into. Gemma - Deputy Editor Being Deputy Editor is my dream job as I am involved in every stage of production and I have got a great dedicated team of people underneath me. I love having creative control over the look of the paper and get to use my skills as a grammar nazi to the max. It’s all about the teamwork, it’s such a brilliant thing to do!
Tomos - News and Comment Editor bathimpact has been a wonderful opportunity for me. Although it can be a lot of work, it is always rewarding to see the issue come on out on the following Monday, and to see the contributors grow. I love being in the office with everyone, always a laugh, even if I’m the one being laughed at most of the time! Holly - bite Editor My year as bite editor has been the busiest year of my life, but it has been by far the most rewarding thing I have ever done. Watching bite grow and finding new and passionate writers has been immensely satisfying. Being in contact with people at the cutting edge of entertainment has been a thrill - and the free stuff you get sent acorss the year doesn’t hurt either!
Esther - Features Editor As Features Editor you are able to ramble on as much as you like in your own articles about aliens, ninjas and that rather good-looking banker dad from Mary Poppins. I should probably also add that being in charge of a big section like this looks good on your CV, because it shows that you can juggle sourcing a large range of articles, editing them and laying them up, whilst organizing a sizeable team of awesome deputies. Jon - Sport Editor This year I have got to play with cheerleaders, interview Olympians, and attend some pretty awesome events for free! Being Sport Editor for bathimpact has been one of the highlights of uni for me, as I have also got to know a lot more about all of the weird and wonderful sports clubs we have here.
Jack - IT Officer Being the IT Officer for bathimpact has allowed me to contribute heavily to broadening the newspaper’s exposure through creation & maintenance of bathimpact.com. It’s been great to play such an active role in making the newspaper more accessible for both students & lecturers & rewarding to see that it is used heavily. Sam - Social Secretary/Photography Co-ordinator Media isn’t just about reporting, we’re a bunch of hard working students but we know how to let our hair down! Media has a social side to die for (or at least spend a day in bed) I joined media for the parties. As bathimpact’s photography coordinator I’ve been rushed off my feet every week gathering hard hitting and good quality shots for the paper. I get access to loads of events for free and it’s
made getting a placement so much easier, 5 applications and 5 interviews! Ben - Publicity and Distribution Student Media is the best extracurricular activity. I’ve absolutely loved getting involved with promoting the newspaper in Freshers week, on Media Day and on different recruitment days this year. YOU, can bring student Media to the forefront of Student life at Bath. Maggie - Treasurer I have made wonderful friends and memories. I got to put together a budget request, sensible enough to not get rejected, but also quite chunky to get big papers printed. This position has also given me the chance to put a range of skills to good use which is really great for your CV.
Media training day a great success! T he training day held by bathimpact at the end of last month was highly successful, attracting students both from within Media as well as those wanting to learn more about the industry from the fantastic array of professionals that took part. First up was Claire Prosser, Director of the BBC’s Journalism Training Scheme. Claire gave an insight into the scheme and what makes a successful application. The scheme was set up five years ago to try and make entry into the BBC a little less exclusive and to encourage diversity, Claire said, “[Previously] you would come out of Oxbridge and ring up the BBC and say; ‘Hello I’m ready, where will you place me?’”. The scheme is one of the only paid journalism placement opportunities in the UK, something which facilitates entry into the profession for those from less privileged backgrounds. Claire also stressed the importance of flexibility within a candidate as they are often required to move around
the country once working for the BBC and was quite open in stating that they make the process as difficult as possible to ensure they are left with the most determined candidates, as that is a quality required in an industry that is currently suffering severe cuts. Having a good nose for a story and creative flair are still the most crucial elements for budding reporters, she stressed, as this is what will make you stand out from the crowd. Paul Wiltshire, Deputy Editor of The Bath Chronicle tried to convey the KISS message - Keep It Simple, Stupid. Paul tried to convey the importance of communicating a news story to the specific audience in plain language, stating, “Whenever you are writing, keep going back and ask yourself… do I need this word?” he continued “most people start out writing as if they live in Jane Austen land”. Paul ran a couple of writing exercises to try and get the student journalists in attendance to focus on the ‘intro’ - that is, the first para-
graph of a story, that should be able to stand alone if the editor needs to cut down the word limit. Audiences tend to lose interest quickly, he stressed, and so the intro is therefore the most important part of any news story and should not be written last, although that sometimes seems the most logical way of including all the key points. He also gave a number of stylistic tips, such as ‘avoid clichés like the plague’, and encouraged students think about all the words that you use and to try to surprise people, whilst always being self-critical. Another great tip was the generic ‘who, what, where, when, why’, but Paul suggests the ‘when’ is often the part that can be omitted especially in a weekly publication. Third speaker Eddie Barrett, acting Editor of NUJ publication The Journalist focused on the new age of journalism and the issue of placements. Eddie started by championing the journalist’s right to shout about one’s own work; “If you don’t tell peo-
ple what good work you’re doing… no one else is going to do it for you. You have talents and you have to tell people about them”. The point Eddie was making is that reputation and getting your name known are still key factors within the media industry and are both things which you can play an active part in. Eddie also talked about the ‘Cash back for interns’ campaign ran by the NUJ, which encourages those taking part in unpaid placements to take up the issue of payment once the internship is complete, as you are entitled to the minimum wage. As Eddie said “part of a ‘work experience’ is having the cash in your pocket at the end of the week!”, he went on to congratulate bathimpact on the comment piece regarding unpaid internships and he also discussed how the NUJ want to recruit and communicate with student journalists. He finished by saying that although journalism “isn’t as fun as it used to be” it’s still a worthwhile job to get into.
Myra Lee and George Chan, both currently employed in the University Press Office spoke about their previous careers in television journalism and on how it differs from other formats. Myra worked for ITV and radio in her career and now also teaches journalism at UWE. George was a freelance film maker for the BBC. Both speakers stressed the fragilities of the industry especially in relation to television. George said: “the highs are amazingly high, and the lows are amazingly low”. The main message of this part of the session was that it is an industry you need to get into for the passion of telling a story, the process, not to make money or as a stable career option, as that is stable is one thing the media definitely is not. All speakers were impressed with the organisation of the day and quality of questions raised by those that attended. bathimpact would like to thank all whoparticipated to make the first event of its kind a great success!
Tuesday 13th March 2012
Could you be student Asian Night employee of the year? Y a very impressive testimonial from your employer? What could I win? If you win the Institutional Category you will win a certificate and an invite to the University of Bath awards ceremony on the 3rd May. You will also be put forward to the National Awards and be in with a chance of winning a framed certificate, a glass trophy (for the mantelpiece), a cheque for £100, the opportunity to attend a glitzy awards ceremony and dinner, you will also be in with a chance to be named the overall Student Employee of the Year which comes with extra £100 cheque and an enhanced trophy. If you win, either at the institutional or national stage you will gain an official award that you can refer to on your CV, application forms and in interviews. Why ask to be nominated? Talking to your employer about the awards is a great way of reflecting on
the valuable skills and experiences that part-time work during your degree has given you, it’s also worth remembering that if you nominate your employer as Student Employer of the Year, they will probably nominate you as Employee of the Year! There are several categories you can be nominated in; International Student Employee of the Year, OnCampus Employee of the Year and Off Campus Employee of the year, so you can even be nominated even if you don’t work for the University. How does the award work? 1. Employers nominate a student employee from the University of Bath by completing the on-line nomination form. This must be done by 13 April 2012 2. A nominated student will be selected as the University’s institutional winner by an independent panel of Judges at the end of April. These judges will also decide the Institutional winners in each of the categories. These entries will then be sent to another Judging panel who will decide the Institutional winner. 3. The Institutional winner will then be put forward to the National awards and a National winner will then be chosen. This award will be presented in July 2012 at the National Association of Student Employment Services Annual Conference. If you have any questions about Student Employee of the Year 2012, please contact Laura Winwood, JobLink Administrator by calling 01225 383633 or dropping into the JobLink office in 1 East 3.12.
And the award goes to...
his year, the Activities Awards will take place on Monday April 30th in the Claverton Rooms and we will celebrate the wide ranging activities that happen within the Students' Union. Given the outstanding efforts of groups and individuals in Societies, Media, Volunteering and Diversity & Support to produce exciting events and a lively student community, making a nomination for an award will highlight the hard work and effort that is put in to ensuring that students get the most out of their time at University. These nominations, along with the winners, are all celebrated at the evening in the company of many
VIPs from both the University and the local community, including the Vice-Chancellor. Nominations are open until Friday 23rd March and you can nominate any event for this year's award ceremony that has taken place between March 25th 2011 and March 22nd 2012. There are also a number of awards for groups and individuals that you can make nominations for too. Please remember that your nomination must really tell us why the award deserves to be given. Use the criteria for the awards to know what we are looking for and tell us as much as you can in your nomination as the nomination forms will be what we use to make the final decision.
We hope that you choose to nominate something or someone that has stood out for you this year and help show the range of activity and dedication within the Students' Union. You never know if your nomination will win so remember to come to the Awards evening itself - tickets will be on sale soon! So, what are you waiting for? Get nominating today and give your society or someone you know the chance to be recognised for being amazing! For more information, please go to www.bathstudent. com/socs/activities or contact the Activities Office at susocieties@ bath.ac.uk.
s some of you may be aware, BUASS's annual variety show ASIAN NIGHT will be held later this year on Sunday 25th March 2012. The event will be in the Bath Pavilion and acts will include spectacular dance performances, dhol players, singers and much more. A comedian from comedy cavern will be performing along with Arjun from London (www.youtube.com/ watch?v=o6gHlK-Mm2Y). We are expecting an audience of over 600,
including our guest of honour the Mayor of Bath. It is one of the most unique events of the Bath calendar and an experience not to be missed. Tickets are just £10 per person including entry to Opa for The Afterparty. These are available behind Plug Bar on campus and all of the profits are going to charity. For more information contact 07940078426 or look at our facebook event: www.facebook.com/ events/218808864860478. We hope to see you there!
t seems unlikely you haven’t realised that we are fast approaching the Easter vacation (yes, chocolate and long lie-ins are getting closer by the day). As the final flurry of deadlines start to take hold, there is just one more thing you need to do – attend the ChaOS Easter Concert on Saturday 17th March, 7.30pm. In the beautiful surroundings of Christ Church, Julian Road (accessible on the circular bus route), the ChaOS ensembles will be showcasing weeks of hard work for your delight. The program unites Orchestra, Big Band, Concert Band, Choir, GASP (contemporary choir) and the Alley Barbers (barbershop group), to perform musical highlights in-
cluding works from composers old and new. An evening involving both film scores and the choir singing in 4 different languages is bound to leave you with a smile on your face: a true bargain at just £4 per ticket (in advance from the ICIA or on the parade on Thursday 15th or Friday 16th), or £5 on the door. We look forward to seeing you there! To find out more about ChaOS, find us on Bath Student, Facebook or email email@example.com. We are the society run by musicians for musicians, and offer a range of instrumental and vocal ensembles. No need to worry about scary auditions, whatever your ability you are welcome to join us.
Easter concert I
ou may have noticed lots of purple posters springing up around campus talking about something called the ‘SEOTY Awards’ and wondered what it’s all about. Well, wonder no longer, we’re here to tell you all about it. The Student Employee of the Year Award (SEOTY) aims to recognize and help promote the outstanding contributions and achievements of students who effectively combine part-time work with their study commitments. It’s a fantastic way of showing future employers that you have experience and are committed to doing a good job and that your past employers have valued the work you do. If you are a student who is currently working parttime - either within Bath University on-campus or externally – JobLink strongly encourages you to ask your employer/line manager to nominate you before 13th April 2012 deadline. What better way to potentially gain
Tuesday 13th March 2012
ant to raise people’s awareness about global issues? Want to make your voice heard? Here’s your chance! The Student Community Action (SCA) Oxfam Campaigns group are focusing on a campaign called Grow and need your support! Being Oxfam’s biggest campaign yet, the Oxfam Grow Campaign focuses on a number of important issues related to food systems that need people’s attention. From land problems to climate change, you can always campaign with us in a creative way. Over the coming weeks the group will be focusing attention on maternal mortality rates in Ghana. Each week around 75 women die because of complications during pregnancy and childbirth, and in most cases these deaths are preventable. So why is this happening? There’s no one answer, but it is largely a result of a lack of qualified health workers, the cost of accessing health
Campaign to save expectant mothers W
care and a lack of health services provision. The SCA Oxfam Campaigns group will be working with the Bath Spa and Bath city centre campaigns groups to host a canvas exhibition to raise awareness of the
ning to catch the departing 18 bus a struggle, anything from walking, crawling, or skipping is welcome. “Fun” may come from your aspiration to complete the course in the fastest possible time or to impress the crowds by dressing up in whatever outfit floats your boat. All that is needed to enter is a £10 deposit (which is returnable upon raising £20 or more sponsorship). Forms are now available at the Volunteer Centre (1E 3.17) - please pop in and pick one up ASAP! Once you have registered you will receive a pack, including a route map and a leaflet about Cry in the Dark and the Romania Aid Trip in which students will volunteer in Romania supporting this charity. If you’d like to get involved but running just isn’t your thing, we will also need plenty of volunteers to marshal on the day and to organise the event too! For more information please contact volunteers@ bath.ac.uk
WHY DON’T YOU LIKE ME!
hits including the title song 'Fame', this show will definitely be one to remember... Taking place from 21st to 24th March at 7.30pm in the ICIA Arts Lecture Theatre, the show lasts for approximately 2.5 hours (including the interval). Tickets cost £7 with a £5 ticket available for concessions – you can book online at www. bath.ac.uk/icia or by calling 01225 386777. Remember to get your ticket soon for what will be a sell out show!
ath University Student Theatre (BUST) presents The Vagina Monologues, in aid of the Bristol Rape Crisis. On the 15th, 16th and 17th March at 7.30pm, in The Museum of Bath at Work. These hilariously witty and moving collection of stories promise not to disappoint, providing tales of intimacy, vulnerability and sexual awakening... what more do student’s want?. Tickets are expected to sell out so don’t delay - buy yours now! Available from the ICIA box-office, online, or 12- 2pm on parade every week day.
On 21st March BUSMS are back with a bang, bringing you the 80's sensation FAME. Packed with love and heartbreak, talent and dedication, sex and survival... this is not a show to miss out on! In this hi-energy show, BUSMS takes you back to student life in 1980s New York City where a diverse group of students put their blood, sweat and tears into life at the High School for Performing Arts in order to make it in the dazzling world of Hollywood. Full of
situation and we’d like your help! Come along to our next meeting at 1.15pm in 8W 2.12 on Friday 16th March to find out more and lend your support – all are welcome and you don’t need any previous cam-
paigning experience as we’ll tell you everything you need to know to get started! If sport is more your thing then get involved with the 30th anniversary of the mighty Bathwick Hill Fun Run taking place on the 22nd April! Not only is it a chance to have fun, and keep fit (making you feel better about ordering that large portion of chips on a Friday night), but you will also be doing your bit to raise vital funds for the charity Cry in the Dark. The event has been going since1982 (which is possibly before you were born!) and in its best year over £1000 was raised. We’ve had space hoppers, climbers, Monty Python style silly walks, even a car being pulled up the hill - I challenge you to beat that! It’s all there in the name; it’s a “run” up Bathwick Hill, but FEAR NOT as it starts by going down North Road, so it’s not all uphill. Equally, for those who find run-
Tribute to Gethin Bevan It starts on 22nd April 2012, We will pay our annual tribute to Gethin Bevan who has been sadly missed since 2007. You Must: Have a team of 10 people Have at least 2 girls in your team Participation on the day will cost £3 each. It will be a day that will include music and a charity raffle! This year it will be on the Lime Kiln Pitches so it’s easy to get back and forth from there on the Sunday. Soooooo... for a fun-filled day of touch rugby, get your team of
10 together and email mlt21@bath. ac.uk to find out how to pay and enter. If you can’t get a team together but want to participate, drop us an email on firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll try and sort you out! All profits from the day will go
to charity! Join the event on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ events/289201321153343 For more details? Email mlt21@bath. ac.uk WelshSoc Love! The Committee!
Tuesday 13th March 2012
Romney survives Super Tuesday
itt Romney edged a slender victory over Rick Santorum in Ohio’s Republican primary race, as ten states went to the polls on Super Tuesday. Romney took a massive victory in his home state of Massachusetts, winning six states in total; whilst Santorum won the primaries in North Dakota, Tennessee and Oklahoma. Newt Gingrich only won Georgia, his home state, and Texan congressman Ron Paul failed to win any states. Romney, the former Governor and businessman, is projected to hold 415 delegate votes. A candidate requires 1,144 delegates to win the Republican nomination and face President Obama in November. In addition to Ohio and Massachusetts, Romney also won Virginia, Vermont, Idaho and Alaska. In a speech focussing on President Obama, Romney said: “We’re counting up the delegates, and that looks good. And we’re counting down the days until November, and that looks even better.” These victories have pushed Romney ever closer to the nomination; Romney has been the
front-runner from the start. However, he has been attacked because of his experiences in business, his Mormon faith and policy similarities between him and President Obama. Given the importance of the American economy to voters, Romney has been keen to identify himself with his business record. Bain Capital, of which Romney is co-founder, is a venture capital firm, and had been accused of harming American companies, resulting in Gingrich calling Romney a “corporate raider”. Romney’s Mormonism has been raised in the campaign, due to the accusation that he was involved the posthumous baptism of his atheist father-in-law. Whilst near-universal healthcare in Massachusetts was one of his proudest achievements as the state’s Governor, it has been a major stigma in this campaign. Romney’s healthcare plan shows a strong resemblance to the national healthcare program enacted by President Obama, commonly called Obamacare. A Ron Paul attack ad said that Romney “provided the blueprint for Obamacare”. These problems have culminated in Romney’s difficulty in his quest for the GOP nomination.
Following Super Tuesday, former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum has emerged as the main challenger to Romney. His campaign has focussed on social issues, and the claim that Santorum is a ‘true conservative’ compared to Romney as a “Massachusetts moderate”. After his hat-trick of victories, he told his Ohio supporters, “The Republican Party has to nominate somebody who can talk about the broad vision of what America is. We need a fighter.” Santorum had originally been a second-tier candidate, has now won primaries in seven states. Newt Gingrich is a former Speaker of the House, and is widely credited with the mid-1990s revival of the Republican Party, and remembered for his fierce attacks on President Clinton. His victory in Georgia means that Gingrich has only won two states. He currently holds 105 delegate votes, compared with Santorum’s 176. Gingrich has vowed to stay in the race, saying: “There are lots of bunny rabbits to run through, I am the tortoise. I just take one step at a time.” Lastly, Ron Paul is a libertarian Texas congressman, who like
BU Interactive News
Anthony Masters updates bathimpact on the Republican primary race
Mitt and his wife looking proud of themselves Romney, also ran for the Republican nomination in 2008. Dr Paul has run the campaign on topics such as the Federal Reserve, as well as a passionate concern for individual freedom. He has not won any states and only holds 47 delegates. His failure to win in New Hampshire, a state with the motto ‘Live Free or Die’, means that Dr Paul is unable to convert a large online base and principled positions into Republican votes, even
in states that are strong conduits to his message. The race to challenge President Obama continues, with Super Tuesday felling neither Santorum nor Gingrich. Whilst Mitt Romney is counting up the number of delegates, he has been unable to capture the passions of the Republican voters. This will make President Obama’s towering position over the Republican field almost insurmountable.
Vladimir seems to be putin his foot down on opposition Ben Butcher sands marched on Moscow to protest bathimpact Contributor at what they see as a return to the dark n March 4th Vladimir Putin days. triumphed at the polls to be An electoral result should not be so named President of Russia set, but in the case of Russia the camfor the third time. Less than a day paign had ended before it started. The later, as Putin shed a tear thanking opposition never really had a chance. those who had voted for him, electoral Putin’s main rival Gennady Zyuganov, monitors were crying fraud and thou- a career politician from the radical
left, was predicted just 11% to Putin’s 52%. Showman Vladimir Zhirinovsky, a populist nationalist, and Sergei Mironov, a former Putin ally, were seen as mere fillers in the process winning just 12% between them. Perhaps the biggest surprise of the day was billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov’s performance on the ballot. Gaining around 8% of the votes his natural charisma and appeal to the middle class could make this young independent an important figure in Russian politics as the country slowly slugs to find its position on the world stage again. Russia was shaken last December as the extent of its corruption, which is imbedded in its political system, was lain out in front of the world. Its parliamentary elections last year highlighted the amount of propaganda, coercion and rigging that still occurs in the country and became a rallying cry to thousands of Russia tired of the “old school” system, a run-off from the Communist government. This, and the fact that Putin had announced he would run for the role of President again having stepped down four years ago due to term limits, encouraged
up to 150,000 protestors to march on Moscow. The event was expected to have some effect on Sunday’s result, but regardless Putin still has the support of the majority of Russians. Monday’s protests were considerably less heated. The police, who guarded Red Square in their hundreds, were less aggressive and the crowd less impassioned, perhaps due to acceptance that, vote fixing or not, Putin was always set to be President. However, many predict this may well be the beginning of the end for
Putin. The old-school, ex-KGB member will no longer be able to use the heavy handed tactics of the past as the middle-class, which he arguably had a large part in creating, become more vocal. Putin promises to continue funding of the countries gas industry and increase the budget by $160bn. These policies may have given the economy the stability voters wanted in the chaos of the later nineties, but this is a new Russia where people increasingly don’t want just stability, but change as well. mpeake
Vladimir Putin wins... again
Protests in Bolotnaya Square late last year against election rigging
Tuesday 13th March 2012
Women were coerced to give up their child
At birth, the babies were usually removed immediately and kept on a separate floor until they were taken home by adoptive parents. This was in line with the “clean break” theory which was popular in the 1950s and 1960s; it held that “the best outcome for both the mother and child is achieved when the child is adopted at birth and no further contact occurs between them”. The clean break was vaunted as a means of avoiding the social stigma asso-
The senate were in a record high attendance
ciated with the unmarried mother and “fatherless” child, as everyone could just forget about the “unfortunate” incident and move on. The committee heard harrowing stories from women who had been coerced into giving up their child by being drugged or even shackled to their beds. Others claimed their signatures had been forged or they simply had not been informed by social workers of government help that may have been available to them to raise their child, thus leading them to believe adoption was the only feasible route. Greens senator and chairwoman of the committee Rachel Siewert broke down as she tabled the report in the Senate, saying it had been a “heart-breaking inquiry” and that it was “undoubted that past policies and practices have caused great harm and hurt to mothers, fathers, adoptees, and their family members”. “It is time for governments and institutions involved to accept that such actions were wrong, not merely by today's standards but by the values and laws of the time” she continued. Labor senator Claire Moore added, ''the history … will now be known and acknowledged […] to the people caught up in the horror of this history, we can now call it a horror and not pretend it didn't happen''. The release of the report, it seems, is merely the first step in redressing the harm done.
North Korea has stated that they plan to suspend nuclear and missile activities after diplomats had talks with US representatives. The country has been supported by China, Russia and the White House, who says that the move is a “positive first step”. No wonder Kim is giving himself a little applause.
Senate committee in Australia urged the Federal government on February 29 to “issue a formal statement of apology” for the widespread practice of forcing women to give up their babies for adoption between the 1950s and 1970s. Following an 18-month inquiry, the Community Affairs References Committee collected over 400 submissions to investigate the former forced adoption policies in the post-war period. The report noted that around 150,000 unmarried women were coerced into signing their children off for adoption by churches, doctors and adoption agencies among others. Throughout the post-war period forced adoption was widespread across Australia, as mothers who were often in their teens or unmarried were coerced into giving up their babies or “faced circumstances in which they were left with no other choice”. This was partly due to the social stigma attached to unmarried motherhood up until the 1970s, resulting in single mothers often spending the majority of their pregnancy away from home. Many were sent away from their homes to “preclude prejudice or judgement from the local community” and were either housed with relatives or group accommodation settings. Religious organisations that ran the group
accommodation settings were also involved in setting up the adoption, which was often a “routine and informal” process. The evidence collected also revealed that nurses and social workers almost always recommended adoption to single mothers.
Alex e proimos
Julia Fioretti bathimpact International Deputy
Aussie adoption apology Wad of World News
Ich bin ein Berliner
Brainception - Lots of tiny brains within one big one coursework or exam. This is very useful, as you’ll want to avoid ever writing any coursework at the FU: you need to do twelve to fifteen pages per module, which is plainly diabolical. So no thank you very much, we’ll do the exams instead. But even these aren’t simple, partly because some of them have a ‘pass’ boundary upwards of 50% (which we’re used to calling a ‘2:2’ at home) and partly because it’s
always harder to ‘blag it’ when you’re not used to speaking the language. And of course you have to remember to be that little bit more sensitive to cultural differences when you’re in a class full of foreigners. Don’t be worried if some Turkish students look mildly offended if you blow your nose in class: this just isn’t generally done in public in Turkey. Don’t be intimidated if your new Swiss friends attempt to greet you with three kisses on alternating cheeks: it’s just an oldfashioned form of greeting. But don’t pucker up for your Chinese friends, who will probably be happy with a firm handshake. Finally, don’t be confused when the Germans knock on the tables at the end of class: it’s just their way of ‘clapping’ and saying thanks. Granted, you’ll never feel like you’re on Mars when you study in Berlin, but you’ve got to love the odd moments when you discover an odd new tradition that someone else thinks is completely normal. So, while you might consider this article a heads up, just think how much fun it would to find out some of those foreign quirks for yourself...
It has been found that the bodies of victims from the 9/11 Pentagon attacks ended up buried in landfill. The information came from a Pentagon commissioned report last week, which showed mistakes made by the US military. So far no one person has been blamed for the blunder. Rescate Mineros
name. When I did once forget to call a lecturer ‘Sie’ (as is polite) rather than ‘du’ (for your mates), there was a very sharp intake of breath from the rest of the class. Oops. The way you get assessed is different in Berlin too, as it’s up to you to choose your style of assessment: Freie Universität
Ben Fyson bathimpact Contributor finally left Berlin on Wednesday, and it was agony. Clearly there would be no joy in writing anything about my departure, but since I’ve had a chance to gather my thoughts on studying abroad, I would love to give you my take on what the university atmosphere is like 700 miles away from Bath. Welcome to the Freie Universität. There are many huge, steeply banked lecture theatres, like in Bath. There are many tempting-looking cafés, like in Bath. And there is a central library, painstakingly modelled to resemble the shape and contours of a human brain, both stunning to look at and terribly modern. Like... well perhaps not, eh? You know straight away that you’re not in Bath. For example, your relationship with lecturers is very formal and you certainly don’t call your professors by their first names. Speaking to Professor Doktor Volker Kurt Erdmann von Prittwitz und Gaffron (no joke) could have turned into a real nightmare if we’d had to use his full
The owners of the Chilean mine that collapsed and trapped 26 miners in 2010 have finally agreed a sum to pay for the rescue. The San Esteban Mining Company is to dole out £3.2 million towards the cost, the rest of which was provided by the government. About time too!
Tuesday 13th March 2012
Was buying your gym membership a waste of money? Phil Stythe bathimpact Contributor
was intrigued when I watched the ‘truth about exercise’ episode of horizon on the BBC last week. The ever enthusiastic science reporter Michael Mosley tasked himself with demonstrating the results of a game changing study on the way we exercise today. The title of the show represented the hard facts that sparked my intrigue: you only need to perform three minutes of strenuous exercise per week to maintain a healthy lifestyle and lower the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. It seemed too good to be true, and quite frankly it made me wonder why I had bothered to: a) spend all that money on a gym membership and b) actually use it? No doubt many of you are now asking yourselves the same questions. Then the bitter irony hit home when I discovered that the study had been completed here at the University of Bath, where we pride ourselves on our world-beating sports facilities, top gym and incredible athletes. The only University in the world that attracts people mad enough to cycle up Bathwick Cliff (or worse take the bus, I wonder which one burns more calories?) to get to an 8:15 lecture which you could have read on Moodle. So what of the science of this study, surely it’s grounded with good evidence? Indeed it all seems to stack up: By subjecting yourself to two 20 second bicycle sprints, threetimes per week, you encourage your muscles to use up the glycogen energy store they have available. This glycogen must then be replenished through uptake of glucose from the blood by the muscle cells via insulin
signalling. To cut a long story short, the exercise leads to increased insulin sensitivity by the body’s cells. The dreaded Type 2 diabetes results from a lack of sensitivity to insulin through a sedentary and unhealthy lifestyle, leading to increased glucose in the blood and a variety of secondary conditions. All of which is costing the NHS £3.5 billion per year. Despite the drastic effect that the regime has on insulin sensitivity (a 30 per cent increase after six weeks), it is not suitable for weight loss due to the lack of calories burnt in such short time periods. Likewise you aren’t going to develop Herculean legs by cycling for three minutes a week, no matter how hard you pedal. So it begins to look like this is really just a diabetes prevention measure. But then the people most at risk of Type 2 diabetes are obese; excessive body-fat leads to 64 per cent of cases in men and 77 per cent in women. I would not want to watch James Corden pedal furiously on a Bike even for 10 seconds, not just because it wouldn’t be pretty but also because he might just die and he still won’t lose weight. Ok so the risk of death is probably pretty low, but nevertheless it’s not exactly the most pleasant way to get healthy. Perhaps rather than searching for a quick fix, it would be better to tackle this problem holistically. By encouraging people to walk more (something that the program also demonstrated the benefits of) people may actually enjoy the exercise. Then by ramping up the walks to jogs, little by little individuals could make the painless progression to increased cardiovascular fitness and weight loss with the decreased diabetes risk as a pleasant side-effect.
Simon O’Kane tells bathimpact that it’s not how much energy you use, but how you use it
will spare the lengthy paragraph that accompanies most journal articles on any subject remotely related to sustainability and the environment about energy being a precious resource, because we all know that already. This article is about how the shortcomings of renewable energy sources can be overcome by playing to the strengths of each type of renewable generation. Take, for example, photovoltaic energy (electrical solar power to you Management types). The prevalent orthodoxy claims that PV is utterly uneconomic, even compared to other renewable energy sources; such naysayers love to cite the Spanish photovoltaic bubble as proof. Yes, the Spanish approach, still used by too many households, failed miserably; I’ll explain why. Solar cells are unlike any other power source in that the method of electricity generation does not rely on some force of nature spinning a magnet around. In technical terms, solar cells generate direct current (d.c.) as opposed to the alternating current (a.c.) generated by every other power source. Understandably, the National Grid only supports a.c., so the traditional approach is to convert power generated by solar cells from d.c. to a.c., which consumes energy.
When solar cells were first invented, this approach was fairly practical as the vast majority of appliances were electrical and are suited to a.c. Today, however, a third of household electricity consumption is due to electronic devices that run off d.c.; such devices must convert mains power from a.c. to d.c., consuming
Another step towards oil independence is the electric vehicle, which partners up neatly with tidal power.
energy. This means – wait for it – that d.c. power from solar cells is converted to a.c. to feed into the grid, then converted back to d.c. for use in electronics. This is silly. An increasing number of households that use photovoltaic energy do so by taking their electronic devices off the grid through a home energy hub, which can either take d.c. power directly from solar cells or convert a.c. power from the mains into d.c. (for when the sun isn’t shining) before distributing the power into computers, televisions, mobile devices and (shameless self-promotion alert) solid state lighting systems. Suddenly, photovoltaic energy becomes a little more economic. Another step towards oil inde-
pendence is the electric vehicle, which partners up neatly with tidal power. Wind, wave and solar power are unpredictable because they are all weather phenomena, governed by the nonlinear Navier-Stokes equations that result in turbulence and chaos. Tides on the other hand are an astronomical affair governed by the simple, linear Newtonian equations of gravity, meaning that we can predict the exact time and strength of tides for many years to come, assuming supervillains do not tamper with the moon. Researchers in the Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering are investigating smart tariff schemes for users of electric vehicles. Under such a scheme, people could be charged less if they charged their vehicles overnight, when less power was being used in the rest of the system. Another hypothetical smart tariff could incentivise people to charge their electric vehicles when tidal barriers are at maximum output. Too many academics claim that renewable energy technologies are not ready for us. In many cases, the opposite is true; we are not ready for them. By the way, if you happen have a doctorate relating to electrical power systems, the Department is hiring.
Meetings lower your IQ Christiana Langma bathimpact Deputy
Hotel Casa Velas
Are you a three Ready for the renewaminute man? ble energy switchover
ong, ridiculous discussions over brain-numbing topics, the same ideas going round and round the table, very little progress being made…meetings are the epitome of boredom. Especially for those unfortunately seated in direct view of a tantalisingly hot summer’s day. Surely you would be better off in the sun sipping Pimm’s, or at home watching Vampire Diaries reruns? Well, research at the Virginia Tech Crilion Research Institute, US, might just offer the perfect excuse to skive off that that meeting with your presentation group. Apparently, group settings actually make individuals stupider and less efficient (temporarily at the very least) than they are on their own!
Just another mind numbingly boring meeting at the office The study, carried out on groups of five people, looked at ‘neurobehavioural signals’ using magnetic resonance imaging and a ‘ranked group IQ task’. Scientists found that meetings can lead to a significant degradation in IQ. Authors Kenneth Kishida, Dongni Yang, Karen Hunter Quartz, Steven Quartz and P. Read Montague (yes, five of them, very interesting) concluded that ‘individuals express
diminished cognitive capacity in small groups’. Women fared worst than men (must have been the lure of the sun). Sure, there may be the odd productive meeting out there (don’t worry, I haven’t been to one either) but rather than spurring on the creative juices, it seems we may be coming out meetings with less brain cells than we went in with.
Tuesday 13th March 2012
Soon we’ll all have spider genes, and our favourite superhero will be relegated to stacking shelves
times stronger than Kevlar, the material used to make bulletproof vests. Spider silk is therefore ideal candidate for reinforcing a biological tissue such as skin. In order to create the spider silk, transgenic goats and silkworms were used, which have extra silkmaking genes incorporated into their genome. In goats, the spider silk is produced in their milk, whereas in silkworms it is made in the same manner as they would produce their own silk. To incorporate the spider silk into the sheet of human skin, the threads were
weaved together to form a mesh and sandwiched between sheets of In vivo skin cells as they were cultured in the dish. According to Essaïdi, the ultimate goal is to get the skin cells to produce the spider silk themselves as a replacement for the protein keratin, which naturally gives the skin its strength. The moment of truth came when the bullet was fired at the hybrid skin. The project was titled 2.6g 329m/s, the maximum weight and velocity of a .22 calibre Long Rifle bullet that a Type 1 bulletproof vest can endure, as the aim was to make the skin to the same standards. Incredibly, the skin did successfully resist a gunshot, but only when the bullet was fired at half speed; at full speed the bullet pierced straight through it. In addition to this work, Essaïdi is now looking into the potential uses for medical applications such as skin grafts, as the strength, elasticity, and lack of an immune response to the silk all make it ideal for this purpose. Other groups are already experimenting with using silk for slow-release drug implants, artificial corneas, and reinforced tissue grafts. So we may not have reached the stage of bulletproof superhumans quite yet, but it certainly gives you something to consider next time you clear out the cobwebs.
Birds extinct by 2100 T.Abroudj
e’ve probably all seen the picture of the polar bear stood alone on the small, and as we are led to imagine, shrinking block of ice. Habitats are disappearing and species are dying out, and it’s not just the bigger, fluffier animals that are in trouble. A recent study has claimed that up to 900 species of tropical land birds around the world could become extinct by 2100 – as many as 500 species for each degree of surface warming. A lot of people imagine that birds would be the least effected by habitat loss, after all, if things get tough they can always just fly somewhere more hospitable. This isn’t true for many species. The ones in most danger are those that can’t move to higher ground, especially those that live in coastal regions, where rising seas and therefore more widespread salinity will destroy vegetation. Another group in danger are those that live in mountainous regions. These birds will not only have to be able to locate a new habitat, but also
Beauties such as this could soon be gone from this world... simultaneously adapt their behaviour and physiology to survive the different temperatures at these different altitudes. The further problem is that if humid forests retreat up mountains that are also home to human settlements then there may be nowhere for these forests, and their inhabitants, to go. Scientists are realising the importance of leaving “breathing room” for these species; to protect areas of higher elevation for them to move into.
The findings are based on a study that assumes a 3.5 degree temperature rise. The predicted extinction levels are shockingly high, but unfortunately are being described as “a best case scenario”, and things are expected to be much worse for other animal groups. The problem we face is that species just can’t change at the same rate as their habitats are changing; evolution takes time, and time they do not have.
Do deodorants actually work? emelec
Bulletproof spidey skin
Alice Tobin bathimpact Contributor magine having skin which could deflect a gunshot; inbuilt protection without the need for a bulletproof vest. The Dutch artist Jalila Essaïdi joined the Forensic Genomics Consortium Netherlands (FGCN) to try to test this idea. Together, they have created a piece of bulletproof human skin, using the amazing properties of spider silk. It looks flimsy, but weight by weight, spider silk is much stronger than steel. In fact, when it is made into spider silk weave it is up to 4
We have definitely all tried going in for the Sneaky Sniff
e’ve all been there. Whether it’s partying hard in Weir Lounge or working up a sweat in the gym, we’ve all had the same worrying thought. “I hope this deodorant is hiding the fact that I stink of BO right now”. Don’t snigger and think to yourself that the loveable Prof Science is only writing this because of a bad experience and wants to find a way to vent. It’s a genuine question, and I’m here to put your minds to rest so that you can focus on your courses and get the first class degrees that you all deserve. The first deodorant that went onto the market shelves in the 1800s and it was called Mum. No one knows who the inventor this product was, but the modern formula that we know today was actually developed by a clever man by the name of Jules Montenier. The formula combats what is medically known as axillary (armpit) body odour, but you could use it on your feet and other parts of your body if needs must. It doesn’t stop you from sweating; it just tackles the bacteria that produce the smell that we’ve all come to dread by making the underarm skin to acidic or salty for the bacteria to survive. In order to stop those pesky sweat patches, you’ll need to buy a conveniently termed antiperspirant. This plugs your sweat glands with compounds containing aluminium chloride. If you’re browsing the personal
care section in Boots, and are all in a sweat over which types are the most suitable, then here are a few tips. The stick deodorants make your skin acidic, whereas the crystal ones make it salty. Out of the two, the crystal stuff has been tried and tested throughout history by people in Thailand, the Far East and Mexico, just to mention just a couple. It’s currently being seen as the new healthy alternative to the traditional stuff, so all you Holland and Barratt buffs with probably be into this shizzle. Now I don’t know many guys who go out to buy women’s deodorant, but I am certainly aware of the vice versa. It definitely wouldn’t be a bad way to pinch those all important pennies. Whilst there’s a difference in the pH balances of men’s and women’s armpits, the active ingredients for both types are exactly the same. The only changes are the fragrances used, and if you’re really worried about that, then get the fragrance free tuff rather than the ones that stink of daffodils or macho man. So deodorants definitely work, and if you really want to give those bacteria a hard time, buy the ones with added antiperspirant. Now go lift your arms up and be free. Just like those ridiculous women in the adverts. If you would like a question answered by Professor Science, send it on to impact-features@ bath.ac.uk.
Tuesday 13th March 2012
ECB lends Eurozone Is it now time banks € 530 billion for remorse? Alexander Latter bathimpact Contributor
Magali Calabressi bathimpact Treasurer email@example.com
British banks borrow £22bn from the ECB’s rescue fund highlights the need for a long-term solution. Although in the short-term the LTRO helps to rebalance Europe’s banking system, it does not solve the underlying problems, in particular the sovereign debt that many European countries hold. Cooper added “[LTRO] reduces the urgency on banks to take the tough decisions on writing down their loans to more appropriate levels or raising new capital. And of course, banks are now relying on dealing with the ECB rather than each other.” Of the total, British banks are responsible for borrowing £22.6bn. Nearly half of the total (€529.5bn) is thought to have been borrowed by Italian and Spanish financial institutions. Analysts believe that banks will use these bonds to buy domestic government bonds in an attempt to imitate effects of quantitative easing (QE, printing money). Others believe that banks may use the money
in order to generate profits. An analyst confirmed knowledge of a bank planning to buy back its bonds from investors in order to turn profits. But how will Europe’s economies be affected? Will a glut of liquidity lead to credit growth? This is unlikely. Banks’ current priorities lie not in making new loans, but in deleveraging (attempting to decrease their financial leverage) and clearing their balance sheets. It is probable that cheap money from the ECB will be used to fund existing loans. We have on top of this, Europe’s bleak economic outlook, causing demand for loans from corporations as well as individuals to be on a serious halt. LTRO loans have however helped to dodge an economic slump like the one seen following the fall of Lehman Brothers. So overall there has been a general economic benefit from the propping of banks via LTROs.
Images Money flickr
anks have taken €529.5bn in cheap loans during a second round of the Eurozone’s long-term refinancing operation (LTRO). This is in comparison to the first round last December in which a total of €489bn was borrowed. This bring the total amount supplied by the ECB to banks within the last couple of months, at an interest rate of just 1%, to exceed €1tn. The number of banks and other financial institutions taking these loans rose from 523 the first time to 800. The huge amount of liquidity injected into the Eurosystem by the ECB has boosted investor confidence and caused an uplift to markets. However, many are concerned over the consequences. The CEO of Standard Chartered, Peter Sands said that the surplus of ECB money was at risk of “laying the seeds for the next crisis.” Ben Broadbent, UK’s Monetary Policy Committee member, said regarding the first LTRO, “Support was provided for the banks and that's been very important… but I don't think we should imagine, helpful though it is, that these more recent policy actions have solved everything.” And this point is very important. Louise Cooper of BGC Partners added, “The LTRO does not solve the underlying problem of banking solvency, even if it does provide much needed liquidity support. On the periphery it helps bank profitability as borrowing at 1 per cent to lend out at a higher interest rate should boost profits, which rebuilds balance sheet through retained earnings.” This is important because it
ob Diamond, CEO Barclays, said in January 2011, “The time for remorse is over” At the beginning of last year, the chief of Barclays bank, Bob Diamond, angered the British public. After being asked by a select committee whether he would forfeit his £8.5m bonus, he blasted the questioner saying that he “resented” the question. There is a general feeling in society that many rich people are spoilt, uncaring, out of touch and consider themselves a step above the rest of us. Well there may finally be some hard evidence of that. A new psychological study by scientists at the University of California, Berkley has concluded that the pursuit of self-interest is a “fundamental motive among society’s elite, and the increased want associated with greater wealth and status can promote wrongdoing,” The “upper class,” as defined by the study, were more likely to break the law while driving, take sweets from children, lie in negotiation, cheat to increase their odds of winning a prize and endorse unethical behavior at work. Previous research has shown that students who take economics classes are more likely to describe greed as good. One experiment involved adults playing a game in which a computer “rolled dice” for a chance to win a $50 gift certificate. The numbers each participant rolled were the same; anyone self-reporting a total higher than 12 was lying about their score. Those in wealth-
ier groups were found to be more likely to lie. To players with higher incomes the $50 prize is less useful than for the poorer individuals so why do the rich choose to cheat? A possible explanation for this is simply that self-focused individuals are more likely to become wealthy since they have an increased likelihood of backstabbing and cheating their way to the top. The study however chooses to take a more charitable approach saying, “It’s not that the rich are innately bad, but as you rise in the ranks - whether as a person or a nonhuman primate -you become more self-focused. You can change that by reminding upper-class people of the needs of others” Of course there are plenty of counter-arguments against this, examples such as investor Warren Buffet’s donation to fellow billionaire Bill Gate’s foundation that is attempting to immunise Africa and the link between violent crime and poverty give the lie to this paper. Nevertheless when we ignore super wealthy the likelihood of being cut up by a businessman in a BMW is greater than that of being cut up by a single mum in a Fiat Punto. This is nonetheless an inevitable consequence of the way our capitalist economy work, the world economic system relies on the power of self-interest. Nothing that we take for advantage today, from cars to vacuum cleaners could have come about without the inherent lack of altruism present to some degree in every human being. In the words of Gordon Gekko (now a poster boy for the FBI white collar crime division), greed is good.
Deleveraging - An institution’s attempt to decrease its financial leverage. To delever, the institution must immediately pay off any existing debt on its balance sheet. Leverage - Use borrowed capital for (an investment), expecting the profits made to be greater than the interest payable. European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF) - the EFSF was created by the EU in June 2010, to provide financial assistance to euro area Member States going through
economical difficulties (it is a ‘rescue fund’). The EFSF is a special purpose vehicle (SPV) administered by the European Investment Bank. It was formed in order to address the European Sovereign Debt Crisis. Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) - A SPV is a legal entity formed to realize specific or short-term objectives. Haircut - In finance, a ‘haircut’ refers to the percentage deducted from the market value of an asset that is being used as collateral.
Market Value - The actual price gained from trading a given asset. Sovereign Debt - This is government debt (i.e. the debt owned by a government). Governments usually borrow via means of issuing securities, government bonds and bills. Government Bond - A bond issued by a government promising to pay a certain amount by a certain date, and interest payments. Government deficit - This refers to the increase in government debt in a given year.
Bill shows that not all rich people are greedy
Tuesday 13th March 2012
Why the EU and the euro are survivors Sterios Schinas Alvargonzalez bathimpact Contributor s the EU is facing the biggest crisis in its history and the UK finds itself in its most Eurosceptic mood ever, voices predicting the collapse of the Union and its dissolution are not rare. The cold hearted view of the EU as a simple regional body or organization which member states join to solely seek economic interests is wrong. In contrast to other international organisations, the EU is not a result of globalization or any economic pressures. Victor Hugo first described the idea of a “United States of Europe” in 1849 and when it became a reality after the 2nd World War its objectives were to ensure peace, stability and safety. Constant integration since 1952 gave an economic emphasis to the Union and made it stronger, first with the establishment of a common external tariff, later with common policies and finally with the single market and the common currency, the block’s “jewels of the crown” of the 1990s. The Union is now facing a “make or break moment”. Brussels argues that simply the willingness of the 27 EU member states (including the 10 that do not have the Euro) to ensure
the survival of the common currency and by consequence to avoid a “humiliating failure” of the European project makes a collapse impossible. The solution will come from further integration. Look at the European Financial Stability Facility, a mechanism financed by the 27 EU members, providing financial assistance to Eurozone states in difficulty. Although there had been proposals for its creation before the crisis, it was accepted by all member states and established only in 2010. Even the 10 non-euro members agreed to participate in “bailing out” troubled Greece, Portugal and Ireland. This action, even if it is conducted by each individual state
because of self interest regarding the negative impact of a euro collapse, is also a sign of one of the key values of the EU: Solidarity. Member states today are ready to accept more integration, knowing that without more discipline and
convergence, they are at risk. All Eurozone countries want to stay in the common currency and the 27 as a whole want to ensure the survival of the internal European market, the largest in the world by value. If you pay attention closely to discussions, no one is debating how to conduct an orderly break up of the Union and the Euro. The considerations that are being made regard the ways of further integration and new agreements to build a stronger, more secure fiscal union. The UK and Czech Republic did not sign the new fiscal treaty on the 2nd of March but that does not imply they are anti EU; they just disagree with the way that the EU wants to move on. As Manuel Barroso and other European leaders have argued, the crisis is also an opportunity. The EU may have looked as entering a period of inertia after the 2004 Lisbon Treaty but the crisis has helped in lighting the path which it now has to take. After all, as W.Hallstein, one of the first Presidents of the European Commission, once famously claimed: “The European integration is like a bicycle rider, if he pedals on, he gets to go to places, if he stops, he will simply fall off his bike!”
Alex Marshall bathimpact Contributor hina. A country often seen as the new leading force in the world, rapidly devouring resources, companies and even countries on its path to total global domination. This perception of the distant land is becoming closer and closer towards the actual story, every day. From an economic perspective, China is blessed with a massive workforce, around 1.3bn people, little amounts of ‘red tape’ in terms of health and safety laws, no national minimum wage, little environmental regulation, a huge trade surplus of goods, and a staggering annual GDP
(Gross Domestic Product) growth rate. Between 1989 and 2011, it averaged at 9.32% per annum. Comparing this to the UK with an average of 2.33% and 3.25% in the USA, it is easy to see how powerful and influential China has become. Chinese companies are beginning to use their power and wealth as they expand into western countries. Typically, there are two ways of expanding into foreign markets; organically and inorganically. Organic expansion involves moving some of the company’s operations into a different country i.e. opening a headquarters or a factory half way around the globe. Inorganic growth is when one company buys a foreign company, usually a rival firm, to provide in country presence, gain patents or to remove them as a competitor. In the past, Chinese companies have chosen to expand organically, perhaps because it’s considered as a less aggressive strategy. Recently however, there has been an increase in the number of inorganic expansions, for example; the acquisition of a 90% stake in Putzmeister in Germany, a manufacturer of concrete and material placing equipment, the Ital-
ian yacht manufacturer Ferretti, and Cirrus Industries, an American aircraft manufacturer. The acquisition of these firms allows Chinese firms to gain new distribution channels, obtain more advanced technology and benefit from established international brands. Whether China can survive the sustained high rate of economic growth it is currently seeing or not is a question that is always on the minds of economists and market speculators. However, one thing for sure is that we can expect to see evermore western firms falling to the unstoppable power of Chinese firms. Perhaps if western firms allow themselves to be bought out by these Chinese companies, we won’t see a repeat of the scenario around 50 years ago in the UK. We were world leaders in motorcycle manufacture, but within a decade, the Japanese had stripped us of that reputation. If the UK firms had accepted that they couldn’t compete, and had offered themselves for the taking, the current motorcycle industry would look very different and the ‘truly British’ firms could still be around. After all, if you can’t beat them, you may have to join them.
The Union is now facing a “make or break moment”
A bite of business 401K
The number of cases of card fraud has fallen by 7 per cent in the last year. The rate is at its lowest in 11 years, where the amount of money stolen in 200 was around £317 million. The UK Cards Association has stated that the reduction has occurred for the third year in a row, and that it’s “…clear proof that our endeavours to fight fraud are packing a punch.”
It’s all made in China
Flickr Triumph - one of the survivors
Probably thanks to the wonderful amounts of people selling their produce on Parade, Krispy Kreme has released figures that show an increase in revenue of 26 per cent. They sold more than 50 million of their sweet sweet awesomeness last year and are set to carry on the good trend this year. We’re certainly not complaining. Mostafa Abdel Samie
According to the Analysis firm Ovum, social networking apps have lost network operators £8.8 billion in 2011. This has been due to the fact that no one wants to spend cash on drunk texts anymore when you could be doing it for free. It looks like Blackberry Messenger, Facebook chat and Whatsapp are taking over the world.
Tuesday 13th March 2012
Valiant efforts from women’s basketball T were lethal: slicing open Bournemouth on a number of occasions. If not for a couple of tough refereeing decisions, they might have lead by this point. At the half time whistle, Bath had closed the gap to just 2 points. The third quarter, however, was decisive. Bournemouth rallied, and showed a level of combativity large enough to break the Bath freeflowing play. Indeed, it unsettled the Bath girls, who found Bournemouth players in their faces whichever way they turned. The result was disastrous: with Bournemouth outscoring them by four scores to leave them trailing 34-46. A change of pace was required: and they delivered. The girls regained their composure, and raised the bar of their fastbreak game, and in the space of three minutes had clawed the score back to 45-48. Unfortunately, the extra pace injected into the game wasn’t enough, and although strong de-
Bath’s wonder women put up a truely stoical defense against their powerful adversaries fensive play to the cries of the crowd was in abundance, their scoring hands deserted them at the crucial moment, halting their last
Energy-fueled biking O
progressed to the finals, both locals who’d raced in the qualifiers that very morning. In the end Ben Simmons, who dominated the qualifiers, emerged victorious. He rolled down the hill and up to the podium to accept his golden bike frame from Charge
alongside John Whittington and Gareth Montgomerie taking silver and bronze respectively. After he caught his breath Simmons said he was “shocked and surprised” at his victory, particularly after taking part in a race in Devon earlier that day.
Sam Short Social Secretary n the 18th of February the centre of Bristol was brought to a standstill as 32 riders charged up Park Street to the roar of a 6000 strong crowd. The Red Bull Hill Chasers were back in town. 16 hopefuls, selected through an open-to-anyone qualifier, raced against 16 invited professionals on BMXs, mountain bikes, road bikes and single speed bikes in multi-disciplinary head to head sprints. This year the track had been shortened and narrower pinch points added to create a more intense and dangerous up-hill struggle that left two riders in a painful looking heap. The random pairings meant that budding amateurs were paired against seasoned elites and in more than one occasion triumphed against the odds. Multi World Champion and Red Bull Athlete, Michal Prokop, set the fastest time up the course on his mountain bike but unfortunately had to forfeit his position due to a broken chain. As the night approached its conclusion and the semi-finals got under way the competitors had been whittled down to just two elites and two local riders. After a close race and one rider dropping out due to fatigue, Ben Simmons and John Whittington
Thankfully for all, no actual bulls are involved in this chase
gasp fightback in its tracks. As the final buzzer sounded with the score at 50-57, the groans of the crowd said it all. It was a val-
iant effort from the Bath girls that we, and most importantly they, should be immensely proud of in the face of tough opposition.
CB Fry: the best sportsman ever? Owen Tomlinson bathimpact Contributor ith the Olympics a couple of months away, qualification for the games is hotting up. Tournaments are taking place globally to determine which athletes are going to have the honour of representing their country in London. Olympians are at the top of their game, being household names and some of the best athletes the world has ever seen. In researching some of the top Olympians and sportsmen to have ever played, I came across one man who has disappeared into the abyss of history and may well have been the best all-round sportsman ever. Someone who, by the sounds of it, could beat the love-child of Jess Ennis and Lance Armstrong square in the nuts. C. B. Fry was quite simply, awesome. Born in 1872 and educated at Oxford, he was a promising athlete right from the start. He was primarily a cricketer, having stints with both Sussex and Hampshire, scoring over 30,000 first class runs and 94 centuries in the process. He was called up to play for England and captained them for 6 tests in 1912. In athletics, he equalled the world long jump record of 7.17m in 1893 and competed for Oxford University in the world’s first international match against Yale University. He
also played rugby union for Oxford University, Blackheath and the Barbarians. On top of this, he was a footballer. He played professionally for Southampton and Portsmouth, featuring for the Saints in their 1902 FA Cup final against Sheffield United. He also fulfilled every man’s boyhood dream, by playing football for England, getting the call-up in 1901. After his sporting career, he became a writer and politician, reportedly being offered the throne of Albania in 1920. After that, things went downhill; he went crazy and got a bit friendly with Hitler. But let’s forget that and take a moment to remember one of the greatest sporting heroes this country has ever produced. No doubt he would have also cleaned up at London 2012 given the chance.
he 29th February played host to a number of crucial BUCS ties, but arguably none were more so than the Women’s Basketball 1st Team’s match against Bournemouth University. The match carried with it extra pressure, as both teams entered the match unbeaten this season, meaning the winners of the match would be in pole position for the top spot come the end of the season. The pressure showed in the first quarter, with barely a score for the first couple of minutes as both teams tried to set about their game plans. Bath showed great composure on the few occasions they had clear cut chances though, pegging back the visitors to a 9-12 scoreline. Out for the second quarter, after an animated team talk, Bath picked up the pace, displaying some of the pacy, sharp game that brought them this far in their unbeaten record. On the fast break, they
Don Fry: The sports Godfather
Tuesday 13th March 2012
Mens rugby 4s on top form Jamie Hosie bathimpact Contributor
couple of years ago, the Men’s Rugby 3rd and 4th teams found themselves in the same league. That year, the 4s triumphed in the head-to-head fixtures and ended up winning the league. The season after, however, the team names were changed around and the 3s played in the league above, forcing the 4s to attempt to win the league for a second season in a row… which they duly did. So, this season, the two Bath teams have found themselves battling it out once again, and in the return leg on Saturday afternoon the 4th team ran out winners by 21 points to 7. It was a beautiful day for rugby, the sun shining and the bumper
weekend crowd in fine voice from the beginning. The 3s had won the other fixture between the two teams earlier in the season, but the 4s were in fine form, winning their last five games in a row. Everything pointed towards a closely fought encounter. The early exchanges certainly supported this theory as neither side gave an inch. After 20 minutes the only thing separating the sides was the metronomic boot of Brendan Taylor, which had allowed the 4s to establish a nine point lead thanks to continued infringements at the breakdown. This proved to be a theme all afternoon, as the ever-influential back row trio of Dave Vanstone, James Drake, and Jack Forrester thoroughly outplayed their 3rd team counterparts. Towards the end of the first half,
after the 4s failed to claim a restart, the 3rd team crashed over for the only try of the afternoon, and what would turn out to be their only points. After the half time break, however, there was only one team that looked like winning it. Showing the togetherness
that has characterised them all season, the 4s pushed forward time and again. And as the 3s failed to learn from their mistakes, their penalty count rose and the deserved MOTM Taylor punished them with the boot, and ultimately won them the game.
Bath Canoe Club tournament
»»Jessie Catt reports on memorable polo marathon
n Saturday 25th February, Bath Canoe Club hosted a Polo Tournament unlike almost anything seen before in the canoe polo world (well, not since the last tournament, anyway). Armed to the teeth with Red Bull, a rather loud PA system, cheerleaders and plenty of motivational music, the tournament got under way. The first match kicked off at midday, followed by twenty-five intense, backto-back polo matches, lasting a total of seven hours. Southampton, Exeter, Birming-
ham, Bristol, Cardiff and the University of London accepted the invitation for a Polo battle and each entered a number of teams, including A, B and ladies teams. Bath Canoe Club entered a team in each category. The A team (The Bath Centurions) consisted of our most elite paddlers, the B Team (The Mighty Ducks) was made up of slightly less experienced paddlers, and finally our lovely ladies team (made up of ladies funnily enough) entered with the unfortunately cho-
sen name, The Bath Whales. Despite a valiant effort and some amazing manoeuvres, The Mighty Ducks and The Whales failed to rise up the league table with Bristol winning the B league and Southampton winning the ladies league. All was not lost though as the Bath Centurions succeeded in winning every single A league game and making it into the final. After a long day of paddling, The Bath Centurions played Bristol in the last game of the day.
The Centurions displayed some impressive speed, teamwork and technique, however, it was not to be and Bristol ran out 2 - 1 winners, taking the coveted trophy back up the A4 with them. Despite the loss, it was agreed by all that it had been an incredible day and our teams had continued to improved since the last tournament. With a few more training sessions and some strategic planning we shall soon be organising a re-match and fighting for our trophy back.
lives to enter the world of sport, such as Coach Education students, have received some bad press over the years. And rightly so - too often we get caught up on the idea that sport is just about running around chasing balls, performance enhancement, and winning.
Frequently what isn’t given enough attention is the meaningful impact that sport, and those who work within this field, can have on peoples’ lives when winning isn’t the point. For some, participating in a sports programme may provide one of only a few opportunities for them to escape the difficulties life presents. For others, sport acts as a vehicle to improve their health, strengthen support networks, and provide an engaging educational environment. When coaches are expected to provide all this, and take it upon themselves to do more than just tell someone where to run, it’s not so easy. One programme which expects this is the Zambia IDEALS (International Development through Excellence and Leadership in Sport) Project. Since 2006 this initiative has been placing students and coaches in local communities to run workshops on HIV/AIDS prevention, alcohol and drug abuse,
host tournaments, and help out with anything else which needs doing. Sam Berry, a previous IDEALS coach, said of the project, “It was a testing 6 weeks, but it was a fantastic experience. It was great
An ideal initiative for coaches Tom Browne bathimpact Contributor
ports and their developments in this country have taken a bit of a beating recently, on and off the field. Furthermore young people and adults who have dedicated years of their
6 weeksof HIV/AIDS prevention and hosting tournaments
to see that we were making a difference and leaving things behind that would benefit the community for many years to come”. Created by UK Sport and supported by the University of Bath, it’s one example of what we actually do really well with sport in the UK, so perhaps the next time you get bored of watching the England football team check out ‘Ideals Zambia Project - University of Bath’ on Facebook, or other similar projects on www.sportanddev. org
Gleave’s gripes An elections disclaimer
As a lot of you may know (or may not know depending on the outcome), last week saw me run for VP Sport. It would have been highly appropriate for my gripes to reflect the outcome of said elections. Alas, I have to write this a week beforehand, which means writing it during campaign week. As it stands, I am currently sat in the library, escaping the hubbub of campaigning. I do not have a crystal ball and so I cannot work out whether I should be writing an acceptance speech whilst under the influence of many celebratory jagerbombs, or whether I should be moaning about the fact that I took a week out of my life and degree to run in an election I did not win. I know people have come to expect a certain level of intellect in this column over the past year (ha) so I apologise in advance for what is essentially going to be a 400 word long, insomnia induced collection of nonsensical word vomit. In my time preparing for my campaign I had to do a lot of running around, making sure I was in the right place at the right time, printing off posters whilst still trying to make labs, seminars, lectures, football matches and meetings. It seemed I was rushing past a lot of very slow walking people as I ran around campus, quite literally, like a headless chicken. As a sports scientist, I know the benefits of activity and didn’t mind the running around, the cycling up and down Bathwick Hill to collect supplies and the general sweatiness of the week (although I’m sure a lot of others minded the sweatiness and the offending odours associated with that). I decided in my manic state that if lectures started on the hour and finished at 59 minutes past the hour then everyone would be in more of a fluster and I wouldn’t feel so damn rushed. Not only could we cram in an extra nine minutes of intellectual debate, but we’d all have to run to our next lecture and we could go some way to getting the whole campus active and fixing the nations sedentary habits. So, if I have won the Sabbatical Elections, my first act as VP Sport is to give people a minute in between lectures so they have to run everywhere. If I lost the elections however, then go away, I don’t want to speak to anyone and you all smell.
Mens 4s are triumphant over 3s Rugby Union, p27
Tuesday 13th March 2012
Inside impactsport Bath’s women’s basketball battle The women’s basketball team faced fierce opposition in the recent game against Bournemouth University. See page 26 for a full match breakdown
The Man, The Legend. Owen Tomlinson tells bathimpact all about a sporting legend that seems to have faded into the mists of time. Whilst its unclear how this happened it appears to be a tragic shame it did. See page 26 for more info
The Red Bull Hill Chasers event hits Bath hard, to find out more and hear all about the results - turn to page 26
Bath Canoers Spartan Struggle
Wednesday is sports day
Bath Canoe Club tanked up on Red Bull to participate in one hell of a test of endurance. Seven hours of intense back to back polo later and a victor emerged
»»VP Sport meets to discuss changes to Wednesday afternoons Chris Clements VP Sport firstname.lastname@example.org
his article is not your conventional bathimpact sport back page. It is, however, going to try to inform you of some of the work the Students’ Union is doing to better your sporting experience. At this University we are fortunate that the Students’ Union has a forum for taking the foremost student issues straight to the top management level in the University at Council, Senate, Students’ Union (CSSU). It will come as no surprise to the majority of you that sport at Bath is not without its issues. This year these have formed one of the major areas of submissions for recommendations to CSSU. Two papers have been submitted, one based around Wednesday afternoons and another wider sporting issues. On Wednesday 29th February I presented the paper on Wednesday afternoons to CSSU. It is worth
noting that this was with a background of concerns around the potential for rising student numbers increasing pressure on timetabling. There were a number of recommendations taken forward and thankfully these were given due consideration. The most fundamental point, maintaining the policy of keeping Wednesday Afternoons free for all undergraduate students was well received. Thankfully in the discussions around timetabling losing the policy has not been considered as a viable option. As this edition is coming out after elections, if you did vote based purely on protecting Wednesday afternoons (this meeting was after manifesto submission), unlucky! Further recommendations were made around the consideration of extending the policy to start at 12:15. Timetabling is a very difficult subject and essentially it is a zero sum game. Early Wednesday afternoons would mean more
8:15’s and 18:15’s and the indication from the research I carried out into the wider student population is this is not something they would wish for. We are still, however, hopeful that if the amount of teaching space is to expand this may become a viable option in the future. This is also true of implementing the policy for Postgraduate Taught students. One area in which there may be more potential movement is in the rescheduling of courses with a clear sport bias to have fewer lectures on a Wednesday morning. Further investigation is taking place from the University but hopefully those people on these courses will be free to travel to away matches without the guilt of missing lectures. Unfortunately I couldn’t justify suggesting to the Vice-Chancellor that this extend to Thursday mornings to nurse the Score hangovers. They will also be investigating further the possibility of scheduling less assessed work on Wednesday mornings to enable you to still
travel to your away matches and not be penalised. The major action to come out of the previous submission to CSSU on sport was an investigation into a 3G pitch. This came back to the Vice-Chancellor recently with a number of options and a full business plan is currently being formulated into one of these. There is no doubt this is very exciting news and although still far from being granted this is the nearest we have been to getting a 3G pitch in a long time. This facility would make such a massive difference, not just for those clubs that use it but due to the extra time freed up in other facilities. All this just shows how important it is that you have your say to us. The progress we have made has been founded on solid research and I would urge each and every one of you to please help us help you by letting us know what you think. It really can make a difference.
See page 27 to read all about the details
Sports initiative for budding coaches Zambia IDEALS is an exciting scheme pitched at students studying sport that allows them to put their talents and leadership skills to use by helping out in a range of workshops helping those in need. For the full story check out page 237
Get involved If you like sport and want to contribute, then contact bathimpact Sport Editor Jonathan Gleave (email@example.com) to find out more details about how you can get involved. We’re always looking for writers, photographers, people to lay up, or just all round sports buffs in general to help out. So, if you have a story you want to share, don’t be afraid to get in touch!
Tuesday 13th March 2012
Cover photo by Sam Short
Holly Narey bite Editor
CONTENTS Student Lifestyle The students are revolting - Page 2&3 KONY 2012 - Page 3 Viva Esthernia! ...and jam - Page 3 Overworked and Underpaid - Page 5 Best food forward - Page 5 Horoscopes - Page 19 Sex & Relationships Scrutinise the ends to gain the means Page 6 Does porn ruin sex? - Page 6 The Guide Page 7 Music The sound of a revolution - Page 8 Jenny Hallam - Page 8 Timber Timbre - Page 8 Dog is Dead- Page 9 Fink - Page 9 Listen up - Page 10 Film Safe House - Page 11 Hollywood, Cannes, London and... Watford? - Page 11 Harry Potter and the Woman in Black Page 13 Literature & arts Mr Nice - Page 10 That’s the Weiwei to do it! - Page 13 JK Rowling expectations - Page 14 P185 - Leading the cultural revolution in Russia - Page 14 Fashion Back to pretty - Page 15 Videogames Judge not thy fellow gamer - Page 17 Frozen Synapse - Page 17 Gamer’s Choice Awards - Page 17 Food Culinary cruelty- Page 18 Beetroot, walnut and goat’s cheese salad Page 18 Puzzle Corner Page 20
www.facebook.com/bathimpactbite www.bathimpact.com o f
B a t h
S t u d e n t s ’
Written by Holly Narey
U n i v e r s i t y
U n i o n
It’s been a bit of a hectic year for all, we’ve seen uprisings all across the world, by people who want to add their voices to the chorus of “no, this isn’t the way I want things to be”. We at bite have done the same, so you may have noticed that this issue is a bit weightier than normal. This is because we’ve made the leap to twenty pages! This has allowed us to reintroduce horoscopes... turn to page 19 to see what the stars have fortold for you for the next couple of weeks. Revolution has been a hot topic even over the last week, not the least for the emergence of the now infamous video made by Invisible Children with the aim to make Joseph Kony famous and held responsible for his terrible crimes. Since this came out there has been an incredible amount of backlash against the campaign and the organisation behind it - and I agree there are some things that have been brought up that make their aims dubiously ethical, but I personally commend their usage of social media to pursue their goals, it has been immensely successful and will hopefully set a precedent on how ideas are passed: globally, and unbelievably quickly. This week, Tom Ash discusses the role of this new technology in revolution. Thomas Gane gives us an overview of the KONY 2012 campaign on page 3, and Esther Mensah advises us on how to start our own micronation if we are so inclined, like the people of Sealand, also on page 3. We brush on the role of punk in revolutionising music on page 8. Tom Rookes gives us an example of how one person fighting for change can inspire a whole nation, and in fact multiple nations, in his article on page 13 about the artist Ai Weiwei. Jack McLaren Stewart tells us about the Banksy of Moscow, P185, on page 14. Thomas Gane talks on page 14 about the struggles of writers and actors struggling to separate themselves from their past successes. Harriet Tangney brings us into spring with our fashion page on page 15, and in our new videogame section on page 17, Simon O’Kane tells us of the videogame revolution that may be begun by the work of the designers of Frozen Synapse. To get involved in bite head over to our facebook group at http://www.facebook.com/bathimpactbite Or email me at 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
University of Bath Students’ Union Printed by Harmsworth Press Ltd.
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.
Us students love a good protest
Written by Tom Ash
riends! Comrades! Beasts of England, beasts of Ireland! Revolution is in the air, bringing with it the opportunity for change and social upheaval (as well as the chance to finally put those Animal Farm quotes you learned at school to good use). Students have a long and proud tradition of revolting and generally making a nuisance of ourselves; the planned NUS ‘week of action’ this month and the demonstration in November 2010 which saw protesters (not all of them students) reach the top of Conservative HQ are only the tip of the iceberg; Parisian student protests in May 1968 led to over 20% of the country’s population participating in impromptu strikes and riots which nearly brought down the government; Belgian students at the Catholic University of Leuven had previously gone one better and actually succeeded in bringing down Vanden Boeynants’ government in February of the same year in a dispute over linguistic tensions. Revolutionary action is not solely the premise of francophone (grudgingly, in the Flemish-Belgian case) countries. From the steps of Saint Pauls’ to the streets of Damascus, new generations of protesters have decided that enough is enough and they are going to take action. What we are seeing, however, is not just a revolution, but a revolution in revolutions which has revolutionised the revolutionary process (a rather dizzying concept, I know). In plain English, the use of new technology has completely changed how we go about expressing our civil displeasure at the status quo. Smart phones brought us footage and pictures from Egypt and Libya and are doing the same now in Syria. Twitter and Facebook were a central part of the riots last summer, although whether these were organised in the revolutionary spirit or just as a chance to raid the local Tesco’s is debatable. But the movement most dependent on technology, particularly the Internet, is of course Occupy. All over the world, the people have been revolting (probably thanks to all that time spent in tents without access to hot water and soap) under the slogan ‘We Are The Ninety-Nine Percent.’ This refers to a report published by the American Congressional Budget Office (CBO) which demonstrates how, over the past three decades, the wealth of that country has become concentrated in the hands of the very rich, to the point that 1% of the population own over a third of the total wealth, leaving the remaining 99% to squabble over the rest. Occupy could not exist without Web 2.0. The information contained in the CBO report would never have spread the way it did without online social networking and other user-generated content sites. Of course, the movement already existed before it took on ‘We Are the Ninety-Nine Percent’ as its motto; Occupy was born on the internet, created by activist group Adbusters who drew inspiration from the example of successful revolutions in the Middle-East. To understand where Occupy comes from, the significance of the Guy Fawkes masks worn by some of the protesters needs to be explained. The masks, made popular by the film V for Vendetta, suggest a link to the ‘Anonymous’ culture. This culture is not a fixed group which people simply join or leave, but rather something that they identify with when it suits them; the masked demonstrators who denounced Scientology in 2008 are not necessarily the same people denouncing capitalist greed today. Their ideas and beliefs can vary wildly as well; WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange’s appearance in a ‘V’ mask at Occupy London, which he claims he was forced by the police to remove, was greeted with both cheers and booing by protesters. Some saw him as the icon the movement needs, while others viewed his personal fame as a danger to the principles of anonymity and solidarity under which they operate. It would be a mistake to equate all Occupy activists with Anonymous culture; some of them probably have never heard of it, or have heard of it but would never identify with it. It is instead better viewed as one of the means by which Occupy has spread itself over the internet and social media to the point that it has been able to reach out to ordinary people and gain their support. Whilst Occupy promotes radical social change and a shake-up of fiscal governance, it is unlikely to spark a full-scale, government-toppling revolution. Cue the unrest that has been dubbed the ‘Arab Spring’ (although not all the revolutionaries were Arabs, neither did all the revolutionary goings-on happen in spring). Again, social media has been key to the success of the movement, but in this case has been used by dissidents to show the rest of the world the injustices and cruelties of the regime which they are attempting to bring down. By harnessing popular opinion not just in their own country but abroad as well, the revolutionaries in countries such as Libya and Egypt have been able to put pressure on foreign governments to intervene either militarily or politically.
Tuesday 13th March 2012
are revolting In Syria, where foreign journalists have been banned altogether until very recently, leaked footage, photos and testimonies provide a lifeline of information to the outside world. However, recent events prove that Assad has taken note of the mistakes of both Gadaffi and Mubarak in terms of handling an uprising. By signing a new constitution which promises democratic elections and reducing censorship of popular social media sites, Assad may have earned himself a temporary stay of execution (metaphorically and maybe even literally-speaking). Nevertheless, given the sheer number of killings, human rights abuses and the strong possibility that the elections will be rigged, it will be nothing short of a miracle if his fall from power is not achieved by a popular revolution. When that happens, to paraphrase one Egyptian activist, Facebook will be used to schedule the protests, Twitter to coordinate and YouTube to tell the world (that is unless Google+ manages to overthrow all of them in a virtual coup d’état). Regardless of which site emerges supreme, to return to my original point, social media has forever changed the way in which revolution is achieved. Imagine if Web 2.0 had existed during the 20th century; the USA and the rest of the West’s policy of tolerating authoritarian regimes in Latin America could not have stood up in the face of overwhelming evidence of torture and abuse, such as we have seen emanating from the Middle-East today. Roosevelt is alleged to have said of Nicaraguan dictator Tacho Samoza ‘he may be a son of a bitch, but he’s our son of a bitch.’ Whether he really made the remark or not, it’s the sort of thing that, if published today, would go viral in the same manner that ‘Pepper Spray Cop’ has done. This is social media’s truly revolutionary power, the speed with which it allows ideas and information to spread which, without doubt, has revolutionised revolution.
Viva Esthernia! ...and jam Written by Esther Mensah
hat makes a country independent? If I were to start my own nation of Esthernia on a pretty little island off the coast of the UK, the first thing that would pop into my mind would be making a brand new currency. Its name would be estorians. 0.9 estorians would be equal to 1 British pound, so people will feel richer when they head to the mainland to shop at Sainsbury’s. I would then head over to my hut, build an extension using stones I have found on lonely walks along the coast, and stick a piece of paper above the entrance. The paper would have the words “PASSPORT OFFICE” scrawled messily across it, due the fact that I had injured my right hand earlier as I tried to wrestle a passing deer in attempt to capture it and make it Esthernia’s national animal. Next I would sit on a tree stump and pretend to be the Rodin’s The Thinker, and dream up a flag. It would be orange with a picture of a pot of jam in the middle (I love jam). I would then sit and wait for the hordes of people to come running to my little government office-come-kitchen to become official citizens of a country that would probably end up being a bit of a hell hole. Okay, so maybe this isn’t going to work. I need to get some professional advice. Luckily for me (and all the other budding tyrants out there), there’s someone who is more than able to hand out top tips on making your very own country. Last month, Prince Paddy Roy Bates put his nation, The Principality of Sealand, up for sale. He and his wife, Princess Joan Bates, invaded a depressing looking Rough’s Tower in the North Sea in 1967 and attempted to start their very own pirate radio station. This seems
to have been the done thing in the 60’s, as I remember watching a film about pirate radio stations. It’s name was ‘The Boat That Rocked’, and it seem to be pretty historically accurate. I couldn’t really get into it though. The acting was okay, and the costumes were pretty, but the storyline sent me to sleep. Anyway, the other Second World War Two antiaircraft platform near Sealand was swiftly demolished, just in case another crazed person decided to take it over and stick it to the proverbial man. Bates isn’t the only one who was brave/mad enough to kick-start his own country. Micronations are far more common than is first thought. They aren’t formally recognized by real governments, so they fight to by launching rockets of fire and brimstone at orphans’ homes’ in retaliation. That or nothing very much. Most micronations are on the internet, in paper form or in the minds of the insane. So if you want to be the ruler of your own nation, you’re probably better off writing a declaration of independence, sending it off to the foreign office and then waiting for someone bored and fed up enough with their job that they decide to officially recognise your country for the lols.
The lush, verdant, rolling hills of Sealand
Written by Thomas Gane
f you were on Facebook, Twitter or Tumblr on Tuesday last week then you will have noticed a seemingly innocuous link to a thirty minute video entitled KONY 2012. At first you probably just scrolled right past, looking for the pictures of last night in case that girl/guy you like got off with someone in XL, but after you had a little cry and the day went by the video had saturated the social networks and it was pretty impossible not to get curious and have a click. If you did then you are already aware of Jason Russell, his son Gavin, the charity Invisible Children and the incredibly well made film entitled KONY 2012 which describes the atrocities of Joseph Kony in Uganda for over 20 years. Kony and his rebel movement abduct children as young as twelve; force them to kill their families and then turn the boys into child soldiers and make girls into sex slaves. If this happens to one family or town then it’s a tragedy, but this kidnap, rape, mutilation and murder has been going on for 26 years and has affected over 30 thousand children. He has no cause, no motive, and no support other than his own power and perversity which has put him top of the International Criminal Court’s list of the most wanted criminals in the world. Despite this, how many of us really knew who he was until we watched the video? That is the point of the KONY 2012 campaign, to spread the story and the name Joseph Kony. As Russell’s laments in the film, “if that happened in one night in America it would be on the cover of Newsweek” and “where you live shouldn’t determine whether you live.” Russell and Invisible
Children have single-handedly created this campaign which was funded out of their own pockets and the humble donations of normal people. They emphasise how interconnected the world is now and how simple it is to spread a message with Facebook to millions of people, changing the minds of those in power. The viral explosion yesterday showed this is true, so why can’t the rest of the video be true also? The campaign has already led to the U.S. government to take notice and begin the efforts to bring Kony to justice, but it’s not over. The campaign needs support to make those in power take notice of these heinous crimes against humanity, and that is exactly what we at bathimpact and Bath University plan to do. Invisible Children are targeting the most famous and influential people on the planet, but they need continuing pressure. A tweet or a message takes a few seconds and a click of a button but can really make a difference, so join the movement! A global event is planned for the 20th April 2012 to paint the world with Kony’s name so he can’t hide; we are going to Cover the Night with his face and demand justice. If you want to make a difference then watch the video, tweet to those with influence and search “KONY 2012 Bath” on Facebook, which is a group we have created to organise our small part on the 20th April. We’re living in a new world, a Facebook world with new rules that allow us to make friends and respond to problems across the globe. It’s not hard anymore, there’s no excuse not to and the question “Who are you to end a war?” is irrelevant now, what’s really important is, if you have the ability, “Who are you not to?”
Tuesday 13th March 2012
Overworked and Underpaid Written by Rowan Emslie
recently had the pleasure of attending a casual drink with some NGO types from an organisation around the corner from my office. The evening began with a brief presentation from one of their field workers who had recently returned from South Sudan, which was interesting to see, before turning into a nice chance to have a chat and a pint with some other young development workers. Discussions turned, as they so often do when development nerds and a few drinks convene in one location, to topics like international mandates, humanitarian assistance vs. development aid, the importance of local stakeholders and partners in project implementation. Traditionally, that last issue is more likely to be discussed, through gritted teeth, by irritated local stakeholders and partners who feel undervalued by Western NGO types - it was heartening to see how many of those Western NGO types were concerned about this and were keen to improve the situation. The next morning, I found that I had received the latest issue of the UN. Association UK magazine, New World. I was, at first, sceptical of how interesting something as quaintly archaic as a quarterly print magazine could be. The cover prominently displayed the phrase ‘A sustainable future?’ complete with some slightly weak graphics - not a particularly auspicious beginning. But, inside, the layout is clear and modern and the theme is picked up, particularly in the opening two editorial articles, in quite a refreshing manner. In the second editorial article, Sir Jeremy Greenstock, Chairman of the UNA-UK, makes the following point:
“Since 2000, the development agenda has been refreshed by two things: the Millennium Development Goals initiative and a growing sense among ordinary people that problems are shared, exemplified by both the financial and climate crises.” Somehow, combined, perhaps, with my slightly drunken discussions on a similar topic the night before, identifying the second ‘refresher’ struck me as insightful. More than sharing the problem, it seems to me people are desperate to own them, even when they are the mistakes of others. From burgeoning regional political mechanisms to a desire for greater inclusion in global organisations like the World Bank to new, global south led approaches to development - inclusion and wider ownership of issues and so-
Now it’s time for something a little different...
Best foot forward Tori Jones gives us a guide of things to do in and around Bath, slightly off the beaten track
Not just the donors are becoming disillusioned, it’s also the receipients of aid lutions are all the rage. Take Project Diaspora, an organisation headed by Teddy Ruge who was recently honoured by the White House, whose mission takes on the central problems of Africa that Western development organisations have taken on in the past. We here claim our political struggles as our own; our short comings as our own; our unrest as our own; our dissidence as our own; our broken infrastructure as our own; our diseases as our own; our uneducated as our own; our corruption as our own; our unfed children as our own. Recently, Chris Blattman and Ian Thorpe, prominent development bloggers, have written about the problems of simplistic narratives driving the development world, looking at how selling simple problems creates simplistic solutions, solutions that have failed too often. Now, there is an increasing backlash against NGOs and aid in the global north because of the on-going expense of help that doesn’t seem to be helping very much - sometimes referred to as ‘compassion fatigue’. When it responds to the questions from donors about this issue (all of us who gave money to ‘Make Poverty History’ in 2005), it is called ‘donor fatigue’ - how long will people happily contribute money to failure? To quote the blog Aidspeak on this issue:
“I don’t mean to say that the house of cards will come crashing down tomorrow. But the sea has changed.” The problems of compassion fatigue are also beginning to be shared. Even in an organisational sense, what was once the problem of fundraisers has moved to new areas of work, as
those articles in New World show us one was written by a Communications person, the other by the Chairman. Perhaps, as outlined by that first article, this signals a change from the idea that donor fatigue is the only or most significant problem that comes from being “left wondering if, not how, we will address problems” because “too many policymakers and activists continue to rely on a narrative of gloom”. It is not enough to want to change international NGO behaviour because donors are less interested - we should be focusing on how our end-users, the recipients, the local stakeholders are losing faith. Without the input of the people we are supposed to be helping we are risking not only wasteful, ineffective projects but a complete dismissal of the usefulness of development entirely. There are those who are already there and more will follow. But it is combined that we are strongest because, like it or not, problems and issues do not affect one part of the world alone. The decline of the West is being played out on the front pages of newspapers all over the world: the Eurozone debt, the rise of BRIC powers, the crisis of US party politics, all coupled with ever rising unemployment and civil unrest. Contemporaneously, attention has increasingly turned to truly global issues. Climate change, corruption or economic inequality are all just as likely to be the subjects of mainstream broadcasting or parliamentary discussions in the UK as in Uganda. Globalisation has made everything about our lives close than ever before - we would be mad to waste that when it comes to designing and delivering solutions to the problems that, in one way or another, belong to all of us.
lthough walking may not be a top priority for all of us, I would definitely recommend going to the national trust owned ‘Bath Skyline’, and discovering the vast green spaces and magnificent views of the city. I’m serious! After having stumbled across the area the other day I was shocked to realise that whilst living and studying on campus and taking the bus anywhere else, I have essentially created my own little bubble in which I live in, and consequently my knowledge of Bath itself is extremely poor. This is particularly embarrassing for us when others talk of how wonderful Bath is, and even though we live here we are not all aware of the cultural and historical aspects of the city. Even if you are not interested in the Romans, Jane Austen and our heritage, Bath still remains a good area to explore and it is all so pretty! (It would also be advantageous in the pub quiz!) I took this photo on a sunny day whilst walking across the land which is situated roughly halfway down Bathwick Hill. As you can see the surroundings are lovely and I would strongly advise students to visit the area on a nice day. So turn off the television, grab your walking boots and explore!
Tuesday 13th March 2012
Scrutinise the ends to gain the means Written by bite’s relationship columnist
elationships evolve. They grow, they change, but inevitably... many break down. This cycle for some, can be hard to break. You recognise all the signs when the evolution is on a downward spiral, but they have become so habitual it is hard to stop it. Well here is how to put a stop to that, and revolt against the rubbish relationship pattern. Most people have had at least one relationship that has ended badly, but that doesn’t matter. It is what you do afterwards that counts. A break up brings a whole new wealth of information flooding out, about you, about your potential future partners, and about the kind of relationship you want. In this emotionally turbulent time is can be hard to sit back and take in all these valuable messages, if you are unlucky enough to have had a series of failed relationships however, you begin to brush aside the tears and ask... what is going wrong?! This is when you realise the ‘break-up’ is possibly the strongest agent of socialisation, the biggest learning experience you will ever undertake as an individual, so utilise it. Post traumatic sex is a dangerous past time, and before you leap from one bed to the next, I insist you consider the following factors... • Why did it really fail? Not the excuses you plied the unlucky one with (or which got imparted on you), but what factors made your ‘flight’ mechanism stronger than your ‘fight’ on this occasion? • Have these reasons been apparent in previous break-ups?
• If so, try to figure out whether they relate to you, to the (more or less) significant other, or both. • Try and create a ‘cycle’ of what happens for you on paper, to visualise the reasons. Considering these factors can bring you to a series of conclusions, and hopefully revelations, but at the least will leave you with a clearer head to sit down and make that ‘what I am seeking in my next partner’ list, something we are all guilty of. DO NOT just create a list of all that is opposite from the person you have just split up with as the people are not the sole reason for the deterioration of a relationship, it can also be a range of contextual factors such as timing. The most common conclusion reached after pondering these points is ‘I do not need a relationship’ or ‘I need to focus on myself right now’ – because at the end of the day, if you are not content and confident as a single person, it is going to be very hard to let someone else love you. These two personal factors will also help ensure the stereotypical behaviour which leads to the breakdown of relationships finally desists; paranoia leading to text suffocation, pedantic-ness, routine reliance (eventually leading to boredom), unfounded jealousy and over interdependence. So I guess the message is, revolt against all your natural instincts, and know that happiness alone is not only a possibility, but sometimes a fantastic option! As when you think about it, there are more important things in life at this age...
Learn to be happy AALLL BYYY YOOURSELF
Does porn ruin sex? Written by bite’s sex columnist my experience that do not seem to understand that porn is simply fantasy. Not so long ago, I dropped my pants for an over-zealous younger man; he appreciated the sight of my derrière and requested that I “jiggle” and “squash” it in his face. As any lady would, I politely declined and eventually, after a short period of attempted manipulation, the younger man departed swiftly from my bedroom and took off into the night never to be seen again. As any sane person would understand, you have to start off slowly with a new sex partner, kinky demands are not widely recognised as making a great first impression. It’s nice to be able to use porn to spark your imagination for
a more satisfying sex life, but that doesn’t mean you have to embarrass yourself. What I find more disturbing about this young mans actions is if I were a few years younger, I may have succumbed to his demands in the same way many naive young girls are deceived and manipulated in the porn industry today by older, experienced professionals looking to exploit the goldmine that is adult porn. Today watching porn is for the most part harmless and for many people an assumed part of a sexual routine, however it is important that people, especially the younger less experienced generations, understand the fine line between reality and fantasy.
Nic’s events Flickr
ike billions of other people around the world, I enjoy watching porn. Sex sells, and seeing as this industry is globally worth £30bm, if you’ve never watched porn, you better believe you’re missing out on something. There is something delightfully moreish about porn and once you start watching it on a regular basis, it becomes a habit, to the point that masturbation without it can seem rather dry and lacking. As a guilty pleasure, it’s as indulging as eating a big bar of chocolate or watching an entire series of sex and the city in one sitting. However, look past the glamorous veneer and there exists a sinister side to porn; the degradation of women, the emotional blackmail, the constant risk of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections. In other ways, porn can have a directly negative impact on the lives of porn voyeurs. Porn is a make believe representation of what sex is like, fake and badly acted, no one should have same expectations for their own sex life. The truth is: it’s impossible to keep your lower parts lookin’ fresh ‘n’ smooth continuously, most penises are not that big, breast implants are not a social norm and anal sex is realistically quite insanitary. The Internet generation who have been brought up with 24/7 access to adult sites are more affected by this than any other generation have ever been. It is this kind of sexual propaganda that will lead the young and inexperienced to have warped ideas in regards to what sex should be, the same sort of sick delusions that makes girls as young as 12 feel pressured to remove their pubic hair. The majority of mildly intelligent inhabitants of the earth would already recognize and understand these issues, however I have come across a small minority during
She’s not going to put that in there... no... she’s not is she..? OH MY GOD SHE DID
Tuesday 13th March 2012
The Guide Written by Tom Rookes and Anna Vidos
Robert Grablewski 2008
Gecko + Special Guests @ The Croft, Bristol, Sat 24 March, Doors: 8.00pm
SWGR Hip Hop Dance Festival, Bath, Sun Mar 18th, 12.OOpm
The line up in The Croft, Bristol on the 24th of March looks fantastic! The London based band Gecko play a catchy mix of acoustic, reggae and pop along with intelligent witty lyrics that’s guaranteed to get you dancing. By the end of the night you’ll have picked up the lyrics and be humming their songs for weeks. First Degree Burns, an 8 piece reggae party band play an innovative, intriguing mix of Hip-Hop, Reggae, Ska and Two Tone that they’ve dubbed Skip-Hop. Further support comes from The King Blues ex keyboard player Perkie. Her soft, haunting voice is reminiscent of Laura marling and Carole King and her songs will last with you for days. Go to this gig, you won’t regret it I promise.
350 Dancers, both local and international, will descend upon Bath to celebrate hip-hop and modern dance during a charity festival organised by former Bath student Arun Nadarasa. The event will give the opportunity for these dancers to meet and compete, while also allowing young dancers to take part in workshops and learn from the best that hip-hop has to offer. The events are in two locations, Green Park Station (Free!) and the Chapel Arts Centre (£7 entry) with an after party (all welcome!) in Banglo from 9pm. All many raised goes to UNICEF and there are further workshops on Saturday at Green Park Station from 5.00pm to 8.00p, so come along and support a great local cause.
We are looking forward to a busy two weeks artswise, as both ICIA and student productions are showing a nice lineup. If you are looking for something to listen to, Jem Finer’s Mobile Simfonia is debuting on the 15th in the Roman Baths at 6pm. To get involved, check out ICIA’s website on how to download free ringtones for your phone, and maybe book in advance, as the space is limited. On the brighter side, it is free! For theatre, Two Destination Language is performing their A Journey of a Home on the 22nd, a lovely Thursday. This company is made up of Alister Lownie and Katherina Radeva, who you might have seen in her piece earlier this semester. Again, this is a free, short, fifteen minute “one-on-one audio performance walk”, so if you pass by the Parade between 11am to 6pm, give it a try between your lectures.
The Civil Wars @ O2 Academy 2, Bristol, Thu 22 March, Doors: 7.00pm
Pimp My Recycle Bin, The Parade, Thu Mar 22nd, 11am
The Civil Wars are an American duo comprised of singer-songwriters Joy Williams and John Paul White. The new duo have had an amazing year culminating in a double Grammy win for Best Folk Album and Best Country Duo/Group Performance. Now is the time to see this band as it looks like they’re only on the way up!
Calling all Artists! Our best friend during exams Red Bull has partnered with “Every Can Counts” to provide a recycling drive with a difference on campus. Students are asked to express their artistic talent by decorating the recycling bins to add some character to the university and enhance the image of recycling. All materials will be provided at no cost and if you’re an aspiring Banksy then all you’ll need to bring is your talent and an idea.
The Australian Pink Floyd Show @ Colston Hall, Bristol, Mon 19 March, Doors: 7.00pm
Bath Digital Festival, Various Locations 15th – 25th Mar
Possible the best tribute band in the world the Australian Pink Floyd Show promise ‘the biggest and most spectacular Pink Floyd show on earth’. Last year’s tour took the band to 35 countries with sell out shows all over the world and this year promises to be even better. As close as you can get to seeing Pink Floyd without actually seeing Pink Floyd.
Bath is fast becoming a hub for digital technologies and the Bath Digital Festival allows everyone to explore the thriving digital scene. The Festival will include a variety of events, including Artist in Residence at the University of Bath Jem Finer’s Mobile Sinfonia, aimed at opening the digital scene to the general public and useful for when we need to communicate with our robot overlords.
If you are more interested in the visual arts, then come along to Peter Randall-Page’s talk about his recent works and projects, where a complimentary drink is provided for the listeners. This is on the 22nd as well in the evening at 6pm, and, as before, it is a free event! Not so lucky with the student events, but there is plenty to pick from! The Vagina Monologues running on the weekend of 15-17th of March by the Theatre society, or the musical Fame running from 21-24th, with CHAOS performing their Easter concert a tad bit early on the 17th. The Chamber Choir are performing their Spring concert on the 24th and you can view the Photosoc’s photography competition’s exhibition starting from the 22nd all the way until March. To check out details and prices, go on ICIA’s website and take a look!
Further details: http://www.bath.ac.uk/icia/events/
Tuesday 13th March 2012
The Sound of a Revolution Written by Thomas Gane
Pip – Great Britain / Thou Shalt Not Kill. These bands all seem quite different to the classic punk image, but all exemplify the qualities that optimise what makes punk incredible. They advocate compassion and equality, emphasise the importance of friendship and individuality, highlight the problems and injustices of our own society with a few stanzas and an idea. Punk is politics in jeans and a band shirt, taking
a step back and really looking at the issues and admitting it’s wrong and probably our fault (See Refused, Anti-Flag, Million Dead, NOFX). Punk is saying that punk doesn’t have to be four guys with some guitars and if it’s creative and challenges stereotypes then don’t let people tell you it won’t work (See MC Lars, Scroobius Pip and Flobots). A lot of hardcore fans will say that pop-punk killed the genre and took away the intensity
Richard Heaven Flickr
irstly a warning, this is not objective. Punk music to me is what a blow job is to Bill Clinton, an unguarded six pack is to Paul Gascoigne and what unhinging his jaw to consume those who mistakenly wander into his lair is to David Cameron. This will basically be literary masturbation, so you may want to save yourself a few minutes if you don’t want to hear another little left winger talk about his ridiculous utopian ideas. Still with me? Ok. Punk is not necessarily just high tempo angry music with messy guitar and some guy with spikey hair who can’t really sing. Don’t get me wrong, a lot of pretty brilliant music was made with this formula (see The Sex Pistols – EMI, Pretty Vacant) but people brand punk with that image because of the reception it received at the time, when it fact it is far more. Punk is an ethic that should be embraced within music rather than singling out one particular style. To emphasise this take a gander (or at least the listening equivalent of a gander, possibly something else that sounds relatively duck related, go crazy) at some of the UK’s finest current punk artists. Sonic Boom Six – Piggy In The Middle, The King Blues – I Got Love / Five Bottles of Shampoo, Frank Turner – The Ballad Of Me and My Friends / Sons of Liberty, Dan le Sac vs. Scroobius
Punk & Poetry
and feeling (even though it’s Fat Mike’s job to keep punk rock elite, not theirs) and perhaps that’s true when you look at a certain Mr. Josh Francesci and the current stream of similar barely disguised pop acts. However, if you play an angry looking kid with a Black Flag tattoo a song off Dude Ranch (Blink 182), Dookie (Greenday) and Smash (The Offspring), I’m pretty sure most will sing along as that’s how we all got into punk in the first place. Early pop-punk was still about honesty, about looking at yourself and seeing how flawed and immature you and your generation were compared to what came before, but not trying to hide it. In that sense they still deserve the punk mantra (as does Fight Club) and I’m sure they would never dream of comparing themselves to Black Flag. That is really what punk is, honesty and turning the spot light inwards before pointing it at others. Personally I think that’s why punk is a dirty word; the core of punk is selfexamination and revolution, and most people are scared of change and of what they’ll find if they look long enough in the mirror. But as previously stated, this is biased and you should listen to what you want. Forcing your opinion on other people just isn’t punk… unless you want to listen to Coldplay.
Jenny Hallam - 25,000 days
Written by Charlotte Lightowler
Written by Holly Narey
ast weekend I attended the long-awaited album launch of the brilliant new talent, my friend Jenny Hallam. The event, which took place at the Archangel nightclub in Kensington, was a great success which saw Jenny performing an intimate gig to over 200 of her family, friends and fans. The album, 25,000 days, features ten of her best songs, all written and performed by Jenny. Her gorgeous vocals and “tinkling ivories” on the keyboard are supported by guitar, bass and percussion from her excellent band. She describes her music as “piano-pop” and has been dubbed a cross between Lily Allen and Adele. The album name and title track refers to the wonderful idea of the average number of days there are in a lifetime and on the album cover are several snapshots of Jenny’s nearest and dearest with their age in days printed beneath their picture. I’ve known Jenny for a good six years and I know how hard she has worked for this. From first performing at the school assembly to now
releasing an album, she has come so far. With follow-up gigs already confirmed in Sheffield, Derby and Liverpool, the sky’s the limit for this girl. 25,000 days is now available on iTunes and Spotify, so give her a listen and who knows, her next stop could be Bath!
had heard a few of this Canadian band’s tracks before seeing them at Colston Hall, Bristol, on Saturday 3rd March, but as I stood in the small theatre waiting for the show to begin, I didn’t quite know what to expect. The lights went out. The single spotlight came on, and on walked lead man Taylor Kirk, guitar in hand. I took in his shaved head, his short stature and old-fashioned suit, and then I thought no more; he hunched close to the microphone and I was lost;
swept away on a deep bluesy sea of dark tones and twisted swing. Kirk charmed the audience (“I’m not a skinhead, we don’t have skinheads in Canada”) and transfixed us, we were hushed as we were taken through the band’s new album, Creep on Creepin on. It has some serious style. The title track has Hawaiian undertones in its intro, moving onto a dark kind of swing. The discordant cacophony that is Woman introduces a weird dislocated energy into the album. Kirk is the Elvis Presley of the underworld, and his melodious, melancholic, melodramatic sound has caught my attention. I’ve read them described as “blues from an alternate universe”, a universe where the skies are deep indigo all year round, and the people croon mournfully at the sky “all I need is some sunshine”, or lament their relapsing back to their “bad, bad ritual”. They describe every heart as “a lonesome hunter”. It’s romantic, but more Miss Havisham than The Princess Bride. Timber Timbre are currently touring, supporting Laura Marling as she promotes her new album, A Creature I Don’t Know
Tuesday 13th March 2012
Dog is Dead
bite editor Holly Narey had a chat with Dog is Dead members Joss and Harvey How’s the tour going? Yeah, it’s really good. This is our fourth date. It’s been amazing so far, we’ve played Oxford, Norwich, Birmingham, it’s been great playing places we’ve never played before, playing to packed rooms where everyone’s singing along to every word. Where’s the best place you’ve played so far? Crowdwise? Oxford, because everyone was really up for it. The venue in Norwich was so nice and it felt really special. It was a polite crowd who sang along but mostly stood there and took things in. It sounded amazing because it was in an old church. Which was the worst gig you’ve played? We played at a place in Cambridge university where the sound engineer tried to claim that nobody uses amps anymore, and we were like… we do, and it was awful. They had a sound limiter and so we could barely hit the drums. It was ridiculous. What’s been your weirdest fan experience? To be honest this tour has brought out the most crazy ones. Last night we had five people with masks of our own faces with the eyes cut out, so we were playing songs and we were being stared at by ourselves, which was kind of weird. When we played at Rescue Rooms a girl saw Trev and burst into tears, although I don’t know whether that was because she was a big fan of Trev or whether she was just shocked by that hair. Either way… she cried. Another one was at Rock City, we went out after the show and there was a merch table and we were signing stuff. There were so many people that they were pushing the table right back, with us behind it, and we all ended up with identical bruises on our legs from the top of the table. What sort of music did you guys grow up with? Mainly the Beatles, which helps a lot with harmonies, I had that drilled into my head from quite a young age. A lot of brit pop like Blur and Oasis, and then things like... I don’t know, Bob the Builder. New metal as well, like Linkin Park. A bit of Slipknot and Nirvana. Tastes evolve. I can remember the first Strokes album coming out and I bought it, it was like a turning point. I was in year six and I was starting to get music off my own back not just from my parents… So like the Strokes, The Hives, and… Eminem? What’s the soundtrack of the tour? Probably Johnny on the Monorail by the Buggles, who
Written by Ben Hooper
played Video Killed the Radio Star. Well they played this other song... It’s quite a long story really. We had this old suitcase where we put all of our leads, which we called “Leadsfest” and our tour manager thought it was really unprofessional, but we managed to sneak it around with us for a whole two week tour without him noticing it. Then when he found it he started taking it around the country with him, he’s got Alex Clare serenading this suitcase, it’s been filmed soundchecking in Amsterdam, loads of places we’ve never even been, and then when we finally got it back we made a video starring Leadsfest called “Leadsfest on the monorail”. It’s a heartbreaking story of a suitcase riddled with guilt after a one night stand. There’s a sex scene and fake CCTV footage, we got back from a few bars and stayed up for four hours really carefully directing this videos starring these two suitcases... If you could recommend some new music to our readers what would it be? We saw a band in a pub in Nottingham called Kagoule, they’re all like sixteen and a cross between Smashing Pumpkins and The xx, really moody, dark, but really melodic stuff. Also Boat to Row, who are supporting us tonight, they’re a great folk band. Kappa Gamma, they’re good, they’re from Nottingham as well. Also Rae Morris, she’s a really, really talented girl. What are your plans for after the tour? Sleep. Nah, we’ll be in the studio a bit, we’ve finished about 70% of the album, it’s been a long time coming. What advice do you have for any students who want to get into music? Play gigs, no gig is too small, that one person you play to could be the one person who could give you a break. At the same time, it sounds really boring, but practice loads before you go out there, you don’t want to get a bad reputation, but practice as much as you can and then go out and play as many gigs as possible. And of course, enjoy it, I’ve always said if I stop enjoying it I probably won’t do it anymore, it’s always been me and my mates having a laugh and if we’re not making music we’re listening to music, so we may as well make it. Never let it become a chore, and do it with people who you enjoy hanging out with, because you’ll be spending a lot of time with them. Dog is Dead are currently touring and will release their debut album in the Autumn. Their single Two Devils was released on 4th March
attended the Fink gig at Komedia only having listened to a few of this tracks and they were all in his distinctive funky blues style, his tactfully timed solos delivered sweet musical kisses to my inner ear every time. I was surprised to find that his set was very different to what I was expecting; since coming away I’ve explored his influences and music further and now it all makes sense. Much of the set was an amalgamation of his electronic and folk influences delivered in long instrumentals which Fink described as “trancy”, the music was certainly entrancing and was made ever more awe inspiring with the forty-eight bulb light show accompanied with looped visuals which gave me a sense of nostalgic wondering, things such as the view from a window of a train and seemed ever more mysterious as the light show unfolded. Fink’s idea to have 59 Productions design a light show, which was meant to encapsulate the audience and the music rather than overwhelm, worked, the visuals provided me with a method of slipping into transient states of coma. Though I was used to the more pop-friendly tracks such as Pretty Little Thing, Biscuit for Breakfast and his cover of All Cried Out, the droning ambient chill out sound so uniquely mixed with folky guitar was jumpy, and I truly felt I was appreciating the music, and getting it – however I think is one for a night in the rocking chair rather than a live gig, the songs delivered but when they’re thirteen minutes long and you’re in a coma, it’s hard to stand up. All in all, good night, really good music, give him a listen and also give some time to Rachel Sermanni, his support act, her songs were meaningful, and she sounds like the outcome of a Laura Marling + Jeff Buckley collaboration. A small piece of input from Mr President himself, David Howells said “nice” about Fink – though he has no idea who he is because he is and I quote “uncultured”.
Tuesday 13th March 2012
Mr Nice Written by Iwan Best
ou will never ever be as cool as Howard Marks. Ever. I was a bit upset to discover that so few people actually knew who he was, let alone read any of his books. Here’s a handful of the reasons why you’ll never be half the man he is. He’s Welsh. He has a Nuclear Physics degree from Oxford and has a post graduate degree in the Philosophy of Science. He has worked for the British Secret Service and has links with MI6, the CIA, the IRA and the Mafia. He only served seven years of his 25 year jail sentence (two years in solitary) getting off for ‘good behaviour’ which includiedlegally representing his fellow convicts, even getting one of their convictions overturned. At the height of his career he controlled 10 per cent of the world’s cannabis trade. The Daily Mail called him ‘the world’s most sophisticated drug baron’. He is a bestselling author. He has appeared in movies, run for government (surprisingly on the single policy of cannabis legalisation) and even has a biopic called ‘Mr Nice’ based on his life starring Rhys Ifans. I realise that he’s almost three times my age but the best thing I’ve ever done is smoke a whole cigarette without the ash falling off (something I’m enormously proud of - who said smoking wasn’t cool?). Between stories which frankly no one in the world would believe if they weren’t coming from the mouth of a small, softly spoken Welshman with more pop culture credentials that Che Guevara, there was a constant disbelief that he was where he was. Less than 20 years after being released, a career in stand up comedy was blooming from what started as firing off on tangents at readings from his autobiography in book stores. Apparently his recommendation for any aspiring young comic is to gain a Physics degree from Oxford, become America’s most wanted man and then spend seven years banged up. Easy. The alias Mr Nice may have been taken from a passport he bought from Donald Nice (convicted murderer), but it is incredibly flitting. If you met him in the street you’d swear he worked for the Samaritans in between sessions with his ‘recreational’ activities. Catch him next time he’s around, read his book, have a joint with him, anything. Everyone needs a little Howard Marks in their life.
URB’s Crouching Beaver, Hidden Squirrel give us an overview of recent releases
Santigold Disparate Youth
Spiritualized Hey Jane
Santigold trades the pop simplicity of her debut for Jaxxstyle bat-shit crazy in this glorious orgy of staccato keyboards, dub reggae, skittering rhythms and blasts of guitar. Santigold’s dead-pan delivery ties the chaos together with equal parts swagger and melody.
Not the first guy I’d expect to step into D’Angelo’s shoes, this track (produced by Diplo of all people) is definitely not the garish stripclub anthem I was expecting. Instead, restraint is the key as Usher mourns a relationship in stasis over airy electronic production. Unexpected, and effective.
No one does space rock like Spiritualized (the name kind of gives that away), and it great to hear Jason Peirce return to epics after their more understated work in 2008. Still aping the Velvet Underground? Check. 5 minute Krautrock coda? Check. Awesome? Check.
Most likely to: persuade the haters.
Most likely to: encourage slow motion singing to your ex.
Most likely to: make you miss the
Arctic Monkeys R U Mine?
Lone Crystal Caverns 1991
Regina Spektor All the Rowboats
The video for this pretty much personifies the song – chiselled jawlines, inappropriate sunglasses and air guitar. A cross between ‘My Propeller’s macho seduction and the recent album’s fidelity and guitar acrobatics, this is probably the best Monkey’s single since… the last one actually.
Listen Up’s ‘underground’ selections tend to come from across the Atlantic (their independent scene is better organised), but here’s some home-grown talent from Nottingham, producer Matt Cutler’s fifth single, a party of rave rhythms and wet synths bouncing across the track.
Two Regina Spektor fans I know were quite upset with their beloved artist changing her style up for this track. She jettisons twee, and the combination tense piano and pummelling beats ducking in and out sound more likely to score a 90’s thriller than a French romance. Interesting stuff.
Most likely to: bring back avia-
Most likely to: remind you that
tor shades. Because we can’t get enough of those.
Nottingham has a better music scene.
Most likely to: divide her fanbase, it seems.
beginning of a lecture as you have to hear the rest of the song. Like I did…
All videos and tracks available at cbhs.tumblr.com
Tuesday 13th March 2012
Film review: Safe House Written by Ron Morrow
n attempt at a psychological thriller, Safe House makes for an entertaining action film, but in doing so loses its cool. Set on the lively streets of Cape Town, South Africa, a new director (Daniel Espinosa) and writer (David Guggenheim) try to sell us American espionage, but deliver pathological bromance instead. Matt Weston (Ryan Reynolds) is a man who hates a job I would love. He sits around all day looking after a government “safe house” in case they need to babysit a bad man, but as the CIA are actually pretty on top of things he largely sits around listening to music. But then one day: boom. Bad man o’clock. Tobin Frost (Denzel Washington) was one of the agency’s finest until he went rogue 10 years ago and has been selling information to anyone who asked nicely ever since. After being targeted by a group with the means to fill his body full of holes, he gives himself over to the CIA as temporary imprisonment is deemed to be a better option than a mild case of death. From here it’s up to Matt to keep himself and his house guest alive while everyone else seemingly conspires against them. Given the components of the film, one might expect something akin to a dumbed down Tinker, Tailor: a brutally intelligent man, copious corruption and dubious allegiances…but with more guns. Unfortunately, while there is definitely more weaponry, the intellect is left knocking at the door occasionally taking a quick peek through the letterbox asking to be let in. Frost, supposedly one the best interrogation and manipulation experts the agency ever had, decides to solve a
large number of his issues with his fists. For someone so brilliant you would expect them to be a little more verbose and in control, but for the most part he simply rolls with it. Weston on the other hand, while having reasonable character development, suffers from the detriment of just generally not being very likeable. In a boring side story, he lies to his girlfriend about the most unnecessary things and happily accepts insanity wolf style advice from the nutter who tried to kill him just five minutes prior. So we’ve lost the brains, but surely we’ve kept the brawns, right? Well yes and no really. There are manic car chases, full on gun fights and mano-a-mano brawls, but the camera style adopted means these scenes blurry in their frantic attempt to capture the best angle for every punch. Most conflicts are settled
Here’s a preview. What an intense look from Denzel.
And another one from Ryan within 3 elbows to the jugular and a neck snap before you even know the fight’s begun. When it’s not trying to beat the world’s fastest fight record though, it gets it right giving fairly realistic struggles of men fighting for their life and their pride. Even the G.I. Joeesqe levels of mass destruction caused by car chase city and wildly shooting into crowds are given sanity checks now and again by quoting death tolls and news reports, showing they’ve taken it at least moderately seriously. Safe House might not be a powerhouse of acting, or as brainy as some of its thriller counterparts, but when it gets the conditions right it makes for an entertaining film. The plot may not have the best grasp on cause and effect, and Ryan Reynolds may not get topless enough for most girls’ likings, but somehow it manages to bring it all together and deliver something enjoyable to watch.
Hollywood, Cannes, London and... Watford?! Written by Tori Jones the Knight Bus. Also revealed are many secrets as to the creation of creatures such as Buckbeak and Dobby. However, the experience would not be complete without a glimpse of the Hogwarts castle. The marvellous model that is used in all eight films is revealed at the end and is incredible when you consider the work that
has gone into creating it. With the soundtrack in the background, it is quite an emotional sight for those who have grown up with the Harry Potter franchise. So if you have the opportunity to go the studios or happen to be passing ‘Watford,’ it is well worth a visit for the true Harry Potter fans. Tori Jones
ver had childhood ambitions of riding a broomstick, drinking butterbeer, meeting Dobby, going on the Knight Bus and walking down Diagon Alley? Well although the dreams may seem far-fetched, with the opening of the Warner Brother’s Harry Potter studios, you can actually do all those things. Based in the less glamorous town of Watford, Warner Brother’s will be opening their Harry Potter studios on the 31st of March and therefore revealing all their magical secrets. I had the opportunity to visit the studios before the opening and without spoiling it for everyone; I can honestly say it is a truly interesting and magical experience. It is hard to picture how the filming is done on certain sets, yet who wouldn’t enjoy seeing the boy’s dormitories and Gryffindor common rooms as they were in the films? Starting the tour in the Great Hall, Warner Brothers give you the chance to be a Hogwarts student for the day. You can see Dumbledore’s office, Hagrids Hut, The Burrow and many other film sets. Also on display are the actual costumes and props used in the films. It is remarkable how much effort has gone into producing the scenes for the films, even though the majority of the time much of the work remains unseen. Completing the magical experience, fans have the chance to ride on a broomstick, which is very exciting indeed, they can also drink butter beer and go on
The place I should have gone to school... sigh. Bloody owl lost my letter... twat.
Tuesday 13th March 2012
That’s the Weiwei to do it! Written by Thomas Rookes
ast summer I found myself with hood up and placard in hand watching as the windows to Millbank Tower were kicked in and fires were started outside its doors. I remember thinking that it was encouraging to finally see something happening from our generation. We got angry and we showed it. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m hardly condoning the vandalism and violence that occurred at the tuition fee protests last year but it was good to see our faceless generation actually doing something for a change. The 50’s had the Beat generation, the 60’s got sexual liberation, the 70’s had hippies, the 80’s got punks and what do we get? Apathy and fucking One Direction! But despite this feeling of reinforced confidence in our generation its hard not to feel like a bit of a fraud and that feeling has only gotten worse in the intervening year with the Arab Spring and the goings on in the Middle East. I mean talk about first world problems; surely we shouldn’t complain when there is plenty in far worse situations? Well maybe not. A new documentary film, Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry by Alison Klayman, follows the internationally renowned artist and activist Ai Weiwei through his artistic and political endeavours and his constant battle to try and change things in his home country on China. I first came across Ai Weiwei on the BBC’s programme Imagine. The program mainly focused on Weiwei’s latest instalment at the Tate Gallery in London. The installation consisted of millions of porcelain sunflower seed each hand crafted and hand painted in small workshops in China. The installation was intended to get us to look more closely at the ‘Made in China’ phenomenon and the state of industry in Chinas a whole. That’s what Ai Weiwei does. He is an artist primarily but he uses this as a medium from which to criticise the Chinese government. In 2008 Ai Weiwei started an investigation into the Sichuan earthquake disaster. During the earthquake a school
Ai Weiwei’s sunflower seed exhibit at the Tate Modern collapsed killing thousands of students. It was suggested that collapse of the school was due to poor construction of the school arising from corners cut by the Chinese government during the building process. Up until this point the Chinese government was denying any fault and refused to publish any accurate death toll or the names of any victims. Ai Weiwei’s investigations lead to the publication of 5,355 names of Chinese students who died as a result of the governments wrong doings. He presented this as a mural of thousands of school children’s bags each with a name of a victim on it. Now this is definitely a risky game to be playing with the Chinese Government and Ai Weiwei has had to pay the price. From detainment to questioning, beatings to intimidation he’s had it all (they even bulldozed his studio) but that hasn’t managed to affect his unrelenting determination in his activities against the government. The past few years of his political activity culminated last April in his detainment for 81 days by the Chinese authorities. He was arrested in the 3rd of April at Peking Airport vaguely charged with ‘economic crimes’. He, along with his driver, studio partner, accountant and assistant all vanished and were only released after the 81 day period having undergone over 50 interrogations. Ai Weiwei himself was 10kg lighter. Upon his release Ai Weiwei was ordered to pay a trumped up charge of 15 million Yuan (£1.5 million) for ‘back dated
taxes’. Within a fortnight he had received enough donations to pay off half of the fine as a deposit and begin a legal process to contest the charges. The public queued up outside his studio throwing money over the fence even forming paper aeroplanes with banknotes so they could get their money to him. The new documentary film, the first full length feature about the artist, chronicles the activity of Ai Weiwei over the past few years from his artistic process to his dissident political activities and the support he has gained from people the world over. The response to his detainment was huge from the donation of money to people replicating his art. ‘If the government isn’t going to let Weiwei do it then we’ll do it for him!’. When the authorities magicked up pornography last November his supports took to the internet flooding twitter with naked pictures of themselves. The government’s smear campaign and attempts to silence him have had the opposite effect. Ai Weiwei is now probably one of the worlds (and definitely China’s) loudest and most loved artists. It is almost as if his following has become one of his pieces of art in itself. And surely that’s the point. Yes we can seem like a fraud with our first world problems when complaining about our minor grievances but it is in the very act of coming together and having our say that is why we should do it. Like the millions of seeds in his Tate Gallery installation bringing them together is what makes it inspiring and beautiful.
Harry Potter and the Woman in Black Written by Charlotte Lightowler
ast night, I went to see The Woman in Black, a film I had eagerly awaited seeing, being a fan of the horror genre. However, the movie was exactly that: the horror genre. In a film. A kind of montage of all the scary movies ever made. If you think of a horror film as a cake, it had followed the recipe religiously, with all the key ingredients. Haunted house, check. Creepy toys, check. Plenty of dead children, check. Daniel Radcliffe... hang on a minute! Of course, another reason why I had to see this film was that Harry Potter was in it. But this only made it even harder to take it seriously. On the one hand, the opening scene shows a young man looking sorrowfully at himself in the mirror, packing his trunk, sorry, suitcase; cut to a close-up of that same grief-stricken face, head leaning against a train window. He’s probably on his way to Hogwarts, you think to yourself. But already certain questions start to pop into your head. Where’s Hedwig? Has his scar finally healed? And then the mind boggles when his bloody son turns up - I can’t remember teenage pregnancy cropping up in the Potter books… Despite all these shortfalls, you would be forgiven for believing you had just sat through the, rather far-fetched, ninth movie of the Harry Potter series. To be fair to Radcliffe, he does a decent job, although the role does mostly comprise of reacting to various horrific events which occur increasingly throughout the film. Indeed, for fear of being accused of copying popular horror film devices, the scary scenes are overblown and the ef-
fect is one of disgust rather than fright. For example, at one dismal point in the film, the protagonist submerges in a swamp of thick sludge with the aim of fishing out the years-old body of a young boy and then placing the body in a coffin with his skeletal mother. That didn’t spook
me; it just made me wonder which horcrux Harry could possibly need to perform such a horrendous task. All in all, this was just too predictable, too mediocre, and frankly, too Harry Potter-esque to succeed in today’s competitive horror industry.
Could I be any more pensive? ...or should that be pensieve ba dum tss
Tuesday 13th March 2012
JK Rowling expectations
Patrick Stump: Adorable Fall Out Boy frontman is currently not playing or writing as he’s fed up of his current solo work being compared to the first two FoB albums and people “hating”. Clear indication that most fans know what they like and expect more of it.
Frankie Muniz: Don’t even try. You’re arguably the most successful child actor in the world in one of the best sitcoms in the world; you’ve earned millions and have a ridiculously hot girlfriend. May as well just call it quits and do what you love doing, mainly race fast cars.
Between a Rock Flickr
Dave Grohl: Drummer in the biggest grunge band ever to lead singer in the best rock band of recent years. Clear successful transition, recognises and is influenced his past but doesn’t try to replicate it. He is, however, technically God, so it’s unfair to compare him to mortals.
lean slates are nice things aren’t they? Such as coming to university and meeting people who didn’t know that you got really drunk and rapped Gold Digger on stage at a 6th Form Party. Or that you got really drunk and threw up over your friend’s gazebo in front of his mum? How about the time you got really drunk and had a mini breakdown in a bus stop and then threw up over yourself and that the memory still haunts you and you’ll probably need therapy but they’ll see, THEY’LL ALL SEE...! Not that I did any of that. Anyway, imagine that you weren’t trying to escape a few friends, but the adulation and love of millions of fans? Bit harder isn’t it? Still, that’s the price you pay when you’ve captured the hearts of a generation and then expect them to move on, which is what J.K. Rowling is looking for after last week announcing her return after a little thing called Harry Potter ended. Now to clarify this ended in 2007, not last year. It ended when I queued and stayed up all night, it ended when I first cursed the deaths of Hedwig and Dobby and it ended with turning the last page, not the end credits. Five years is a long time for someone who spent the previous ten relentlessly writing, but not enough for Rowling to distance herself from the name Harry Potter. Details about the novel itself are guarded, but rumours are hinting at a crime fiction, possibly set in Edinburgh. Rowling has also said that she’s working on a Political Fairytale for children, but this new book has been described as her first adult book, so it is unlikely to be Animal Farm. We could randomly speculate some more but that’s pretty pointless, far more interesting to see if she’ll be able to prevent people going, “it was okay, needed more wizards and more Emma Watson”, by looking at others who’ve tried.
Carole Lowe Flickr
Written by Thomas Gane
Star Wars 4,5 & 6: Unless you’re Harrison Ford (i.e. possessing almost Grohlesque powers of awesome), your career was forever defined and then ruined by these films (just check out Mark Hamill’s IMDB page).
In literature an obvious example is Tolkien and Rowling could always take a leaf from his book and write the same story but in a different time, I’m sure we’d all like to read the Sirius Black or Severus Snape story. Or perhaps Pratchett; same world and style but completely new setting and characters? Phillip Pullman has found relative success since His Dark Materials, but nothing like the huge best sellers his trilogy became. Perhaps Rowling (as well as Messer’s Radcliffe, Watson and Grint) will have to accept the constant comparisons and that perhaps their first outing will forever be what they’re measured against. Either way, when you’re reading reviews in a mansion, does it really matter what they say?
Start from scratch or feed your cult following?
P183 - Leading the cultural revolution in Russia? Written by Jack McLaren-Stewart
mysterious political activist adorning the city of Moscow with controversial graffiti hasn’t been accepted or admired quite so openly as Banksy’s acceptance in the UK, but despite this an artist known as P183 is generating a stir by effectively capturing the ambience of modern-day Russia in his work. Amongst P183’s more acclaimed work are: a CCTV camera with mounted machine guns, a masked dissident wielding a real flare, and a stencil of a young girl decorating a barbed-wire fence with baubles. After gaining significant media coverage worldwide due to photographic images of his art, he is currently constructing a new series that will soon be unveiled around the city of Moscow. Often cited as the Russian Banksy, or “Bankski”, his work closely resembles the world famous Bristolian street artist (although many street-art aficionados draw a closer comparison with cult artist Blek le Rat). However, P183 insists he has never tried to imitate him. In a Skype interview with the Guardian newspaper, bedecked in his customary black
garb and balaclava, he claimed: “I fully understand that we both have a common cause, but I never sought to emulate him or anyone else. I use the songs of people such as Yegor Letov and Konstantin Kinchev for inspiration – not public figures.” Beginning with poems written on the Tsoi Wall in Moscow at age 11, P183 soon graduated to other forms of art and began to spray murals in other areas of the city. His more recent works are an evolution again and include several guerrilla installations such as a giant fork shovelling industrial piping made to look like a giant plate of spaghetti. As is common with this particular type of art, P183’s work is soon removed by the authorities. “The city government is categorically against street art, so any wall drawings are painted over. Graffiti with political meaning and social subtext are painted over especially fast,” he says. When the topic of the recent Russian election is even mentioned, he pulls a face of disgust. “I’m not going to talk about Putin, it’s too much. In our country, there is a very heavy atmosphere. People are closed-minded, and money is the most important thing. Our state does not support creativity. To me, street art is a tool to send thoughts to people.” P183 strongly expresses his desire “to have a strong, educated and cultured homeland”. If his work continues to be accessed and spread by the population before the authorities remove it, his aspirations may not be too far-fetched.
Tuesday 13th March 2012
Back to Pretty
Get the look...
ast season it was all about casual separates and masculine lines, but now we’re going back to pretty. The Spring/Summer collections have brought us a bundle of beautiful light textures and sugary ice cream colours. Chloé and Alexander McQueen have brought us pleats, individually in very different ways. At Chloé they were A-line flowing pleats; Sarah Burton at Alexander McQueen in contrast has created very fine intricate pleats, sculpted around the body, making the models look like they have crawled out of the sea covered in coral (in a good way of course.) The models at Chanel also looked sea-like, but in true Chanel style they were covered in pearls instead of coral. The use of iridescent fabric and beautiful layers of translucent panels created scales and fins. Louis Vuitton has also created some sheer wonders. The dresses are made up of layers of beautiful petal patterns in cream, pink, yellow and mint. Anyone who knows me at all knows that I love shit with holes and see-through bits so this season it seems I’m sorted. In terms of copying this look, think pleats, crochet, lace, flowers and feminine shades.
Written by Harriet Tangney, bite Deputy
Limited Edition Halter Pleat Maxi Dress - Topshop £175
Daisy Bead Cami Topshop £36
Crochet Shopper Bag Topshop £38
Crochet Trim Waist Tube Dress - Rare £45 Pink Metallic Leather Shorts River Island £65 Vaudeville natural leather sandles - Office £45
Tuesday 13th March 2012
Judge not thy fellow gamer Written by Ron Morrow
iven the choice between the two classic rival camps of gaming, I would put myself amongst the hardcore over the causal every time. Whether or not I would be greeted with open arms and a controller I am not quite as certain of; my history of completed games is probably considered questionable at best by most. In my experience so far as a man who enjoys culture in most forms, the gaming community is one of the harshest judges of character amongst the mediums, and it’s something that needs to change as the quantity of gaming content available rapidly expands. I haven’t read Pride and Prejudice, Moby Dick or Lord of the Flies, yet no one would bat an eyelid at such a revelation. Despite widely being considered classics, I would not be expected to have put the time in to enjoy and understand these greats. Putting any respect people might have for my film review on the line, I’ll admit I haven’t seen The Godfather, Schindler’s List or Casablanca. However, my top notch pop culture knowledge and ≈40 cinema trips in 2011 will generally be enough to convince people that I roughly know what I’m talking about. The big reveal of course though is the games, and honestly it’s a list of classics I’d love to get my hands on, but given the war of exclusives consoles like to play and the sheer monetary cost associated with it have left me what many would consider “inexperienced”. Growing up I had a Megadrive, and then every Nintendo console from the original Gameboy onwards, until I eventually manned up and bought a 360. So yes, this means I had no Playstation and none of the games that went with them. Instantly this knocks FFVII and GTA out of the running, which, by the gawping look probably sat upon your face right now, means you probably no longer respect my opinions on both RPGs and sandbox titles. This childish mix of nostalgia and almighty elitism is the exact deadly combination of judgement that I want to see people grow out of. Some of my favourite games when I was younger were the Golden Sun titles on GBA; a fantastic set of RPGs that many won’t have heard of. However, because I spent my time playing a game less famous to the majority, in an online community my opinion would be instantly tossed aside so that my mother could be insulted and my sexual orientation brought into question. To cover both extremes, let’s jump forward to now. I don’t have a smartphone so don’t have highscores on the likes of Doodlejump or Temple Run. On the other hand, triple A titles
often pass me by as it’s hard to justify the time or money to invest in each of them, especially when a pile of top tier games from recent years is sat at home waiting to be played. All of this occurs while I play Ocarina of Time for the first time on my 3DS, a game that passed me by as a child as I was far too engrossed in Pokémon. A friend of mine once told me he now no longer aims for completion or second run throughs of games, as he’s rather push on to the next game on his list. While I can respect his wish to stay bang up to date, I can’t help but feel that it’s a sad, sad situation. Games aren’t like books or films, and they often require more effort, or at least time, to reach a point we would consider as completion. With games the finishing line can be moved as we see fit and we’ve been edging the goal forwards to create a sprint instead of a long walk for a long while now; gradually conditioning ourselves to treat games as a mean to an ends for knowledge instead of enjoyment. The ability to understand the jokes in a few memes and references is not comparable to that one gains from putting in the investment to find out why the cake is a lie, or how that guard got an arrow to the knee. It’s time for gamers to realise that their medium has outgrown their tight fast grip. To realise that it’s no longer possible to play every game, and even if it was then it would be impossible to enjoy them. Next time someone admits something you consider to be a travesty, ask them what they were playing instead; you’re not the only one who likes to feel like their choice in titles was a wise one.
Frozen Synapse Written by Simon O’Kane
pparently bite have more space for videogame reviews this issue, so I think of what fits best with ‘revolution’. The game that comes to mind is Frozen Synapse, a wonderful little gem that is revolutionary in three different ways. The setting is the fictional city Markov Geist in a disturbingly believable near-future scenario, where the Internet has evolved into a system called the Shape that permeates every aspect of human existence and can support entirely virtual beings called shapeforms. The company that owns the Shape, Nomad, has merged with the financial giant Enyo to form a super-corporation that rules the city with what one of the protagonists calls “a form of despotism”. The player takes on the role of a shapeform called Tactics, recruited by a revolutionary faction called Petrov’s Shard. Both sides fight with what are called vatforms, which are basically mindless, remote-controlled human clones (Doctor Who has explored a similar concept). Each battle consists of two small groups of vatforms shooting and blowing up one another, while you get a bird’s-eye view of the carnage. It sounds like old hat, but the game mechanics are like no
game I’ve ever played before. It’s not real time strategy, nor is it a conventional turn-based strategy game, although it is both turn-based and strategy. Each turn, the player gives their vatforms orders. The battle is then played out in real time by the computer for five seconds, with the vatforms carrying out their orders. After the five seconds are up, the next turn begins, new orders are given, and the next five seconds play out, and so on until there is a winner. Each vatform wields a particular weapon, with its own advantages and disadvantages; you have no idea how many of each type you will be given until the game begins. The final thing that makes it revolutionary is where it comes from; a tiny Oxfordshire company called Mode 7 Games. This can be viewed as a small British company taking on the might of the well-staffed studios of Japan and the USA; revolutionaries fighting with a revolutionary game with a revolutionary storyline. It doesn’t get more revolutionary than that. Frozen Synapse is available to download for around £20 using the online distribution platform Steam, which is free to download by itself. I can’t write this without mentioning BUNCS’ Sam Eaton-Rosen, who introduced me to the game.
Gamers’ Choice Awards Written by Sally Williamson
he PSN Gamers’ Choice awards recently announced their nominees this year, and they were controversial to say the least – in particular, the best PS3 full game, for which the nominees were “Midnight Club LA” (complete edition), Assassins Creed: Brotherhood (the third game in the series) and Assassins Creed II. So of all the full length games available for PS3, two of the three best ones, were (in the minds of the people at PSN) Assassin’s Creed. Personally, I’m thrilled. I’ll be the first to admit that Assassin’s Creed Revelations wasn’t as great as it could have been in terms of storyline, but I’m also first to admit that the main reason I play these games is to make the most of the freedom the storyline offers…by free-running around, jumping off rooftops, and starting fights with passing groups of Borgia soldiers. As a general Xbox player rather than Playstation, it’s obviously slightly harder to comment – but the basic premise of the game is the same. For those who aren’t familiar with the game itself, you basically find yourself as an assassin in places like Florence, Rome, Constantinople…all the cities of old. Following the somewhat vague storyline, the player hunts down targets, refurbishes districts, and generally runs around the city using conveniently random ropes, ladders, and rooftops. Representing a refreshing change from first person shooters (not that I’d ever say a bad word about Halo), typical racing games, or games like GTA, it’s more in line with the Fable games, with more freedom. However, I don’t think explaining the game is as necessary as urging anyone who never bothered to play it to give it a go – yes, even on PS3 if necessary. The older games are relatively cheap pre-owned, or the latest game, the “fifth” in the series (though officially only the third) is due to be released in October this year, and with some variation on the recent games, has a protagonist fighting his way through the American Civil War, and will of course be available on Xbox 360…and PS3.
Tuesday 13th March 2012
Written by Nia Evans
their engorged livers in addition to breathing problems and ruptured organs. The gavage (force feeding) is a painful process which the birds have to endure at least two to three times daily whilst being confined to tiny metal cages designed to prevent mobility. Thanks to continued pressure from an animal rights campaign led by former James Bond actor Sir Roger Moore, Selfridges decided to ban the selling of foie gras in its stores in 2009. O’Shea on the other hand is far less concerned by his actions and stated that “stuffing a goose with grain is like stuffing me with Guinness. It has been totally blown out of proportion”. And it seems that our neighbours on the other side of the Channel tend to agree with the celebrity butcher as the French produce and consume around 75 per cent of the world’s foie gras. The product, considered a delicacy because of its rich, buttery flavour and delicate texture, is a common feature on French dinner tables at Christmas and other special occasions. But can we really justify the suffering of 24 million ducks and half a million geese to simply satisfy our taste buds? I am most definitely a carnivore and love nothing more than a rare steak and chips but one has to draw the line somewhere on what is acceptable treatment of animals and what is not. I like to know where my meat has come from and have the knowl-
edge that the animals have led a full and happy life before reaching my plate. It has become natural to eat meat, game and fish but to me, keeping birds in tiny cages and shoving endless amounts of food down its throat is the most unnatural thing in the world.
he foie gras debate erupted once again in the culinary world last month as Jack O’Shea, top London butcher, got the chop from his position at the capital’s branch of Selfridges. O’Shea lost his job as “meat supplier to the stars” after being caught selling the controversial food product under the counter. His customers simply had to give him the secret code words “French fillet” to get their hands on the ingredient; the production of which has been banned in many countries across the continent and in numerous American states. Foie gras (pronounced “fwah grah”), is considered to be a culinary delicacy and can be found on the menus of the finest restaurants in the world. However, the product has been at the centre of a heated debate amongst chefs, restaurant owners and animal rights activists for many years due to the controversial production of the foodstuff. Famous faces such as Sir Roger Moore and Kate Winslet have spoken out against the consumption of foie gras after discovering the horrors of its production process. Literally meaning “fatty liver”, the product is created by force feeding male ducks or geese with as much as four pounds of grain a day. The result is a liver which is ten times its normal size and a huge amount of suffering for the birds. Many have difficulties standing up because of
Pwease don’t hurt us
Beetroot, Walnut and Goat’s Cheese Salad
t seems only fitting that this week’s recipe should be meat free, plus, now that the evenings are getting lighter, the daffs are out and Spring has most definitely arrived, here is a super salad for all my veggie friends. Beetroot is in season at the moment and isn’t difficult to find in the supermarket or the greengrocers. So go on, give it a go and turn your fingers purple! Ingredients: Mixed salad leaves 400g/14oz fresh beetroot 75g/3oz goat’s cheese 50g/2oz walnuts 2 thick slices granary bread, crusts removed, cut into 1cm/½in cubes For the dressing: Extra virgin olive oil Balsamic vinegar Lemon juice Salt and pepper
Method • Preheat the oven to 190C/375F/Gas 5. • Cut the beetroot into quarters and place on a baking tray with a drizzle of olive and some salt. Roast in the oven for about 30 minutes or until soft. • While the beetroot is roasting, heat some oil in a pan and add the cubes of bread to make croutons. Fry them for about 2-3 minutes, stirring regularly so that each side is crisp and golden. Drain them on some kitchen paper and add a little salt and pepper. • To make the dressing simply mix the olive oil and balsamic vinegar (remember: 3 parts oil, 1 part vinegar) and a squeeze of lemon juice. Don’t forget to season too! • When the beetroot is soft, peel the skin off and cut into bite size chunks. • To serve, place the beetroot on top of the mixed salad leaves. Crumble the goat’s cheese and also add the croutons and walnuts to the salad with a splash of dressing. • Enjoy on a sunny Spring evening! (Serves 4)
March: What’s In Season? Purple sprouting broccoli Spring onions Spinach Beetroot Blood oranges Sardines Spring is in the air... and on your plates (well, maybe steer clear of eating daffodils, but otherwise go wild)
Tuesday 13th March 2012
People are walking all over you! You think you’re nice, but when the majority of the world isn’t you’re just a pushover. You think people will eventually realise your efforts and they’ll change, but they won’t. All that’ll happen is you’ll be trying to make a point and a Taurus will just stand in front of you doing something Rick Santorum (the stars say he’s a twat by the way) considers illegal. They’re always making excuses to avoid seeing you and you believe them, but there’s always this nagging feeling that instead they’re all having an orgy. What starts off as missing drinks becomes missing your funeral, put your foot down Pisces!
You’ve been dealing with insecurities lately, but that’s probably because Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp are Gemini too. You must confront your fears Gemini, Clemmo knows you’re beautiful, isn’t that enough? Maybe you’ve been rejected recently, but the stars told me that they had chlamydia so you dodged a bullet. The stars also told me how to literally wet your dry spell. Regain your swagger, don’t be afraid to approach your next conquest and announce you’re ultimatums, “My face is leaving in an hour, be on it,” “Does this rag smell like chloroform to you?” or simply “You’ll do.” You’ll be back doing the stride of pride in no time.
You’ve been having issues lately. It’s not your fault, you’re struggling to keep up with work and everything is building up. You’re friends are annoyed at you because you’re struggling and stressed and your partner is messing you around, it seems there is no way out. But there is Virgo, when Orion is in Andromeda’s Grontilla the answer is generosity. Show some extra generosity to your lecturer, meet them and show just how committed and willing to go (down) the extra mile you are. This will also help with your partner; it’s hard to argue with a full mouth. Follow this simple idea and your life will soon slot into place.
I’d love to tell you something Sagittarius, but really there’s nothing. I’m sure even something horrible would be worth reading more so than this. That special person in your life will talk to you and maybe give you a hug and then say, “I wish I could find someone like you!” and in your head you’ll scream “Bitch, I’m like me!” but really you’ll say, “Awh me too.” You’ll do all your reading and work hard, but someone else will swagger in hungover on a walk of shame and beat you anyway. What’s the point? You work, you consume, and you die, stop reading this and accept it.
Don’t step outside Aries. Not. One. Step. If you do, horrible, horrible things will happen and everything you love and cherish will slowly slip away and leave you alone, sleeping in a bin and chances are you’ll be fingered by a tramp. This means your love life may be a bit restricted but don’t give up, grab your laptop and some Kleenex because I have it on good authority that there are thousands of beautiful singles on the internet who are dying to meet you. Good news! In work you will be given a fantastic once in a lifetime opportunity for a promotion, unfortunately you’ll either be hiding or being dry humped by a tramp.
You’ve probably been having doubts lately Cancer, but you must remain strong. Sure you love Kitsch and hate that Friday 9.15, but Bath Spa is not the answer (unless the question is “Who goes hard?”). Your love life may be struggling and sure, a Bath Sparian may fall for your chat up lines more so than a Bath Uni student, but what if you actually fall for one? Do you really want to be financially responsible for them throughout your marriage? Your answer is clear. Get your head down, drop a Berocca in a Red Bull to destroy that hangover and make it to that 9.15, perseverance is the key to the success.
Your grandmother isn’t well, all girls should beware a red haired man and if you were planning on buying a rabbit I’d wait until after the 16th of October. All Libra should avoid churchyards and especially if they’re haunted by giant spectral dogs, although there is chance that it could be your Godfather. Ummm, if you’re eating with thirteen people don’t get up first, that won’t end well. What else… don’t trust rats and let your godfather kill rats that aren’t actually rats, but if you don’t then don’t worry it kind of all works out eventually. If you haven’t got this then where have you been the last fifteen years?
You’re probably the kind of person who saw horoscopes, thought “I love those” and flicked straight to this page. I don’t need the stars help to tell you that you’re an idiot. You probably like Coldplay, wear things ironically and watch TOWIE. It’s some odd miracle that you aren’t in Bath Spa. In your love life people are treating you like a backup because they know you won’t question vague answers concerning where they’ve been or who “someone” is. In work people give you the menial tasks and make you think you’re a vital team member, you aren’t Capricorn. It’s not your fault, try reading something other than Stephanie Meyer.
The bull Taurus! You are strong like the bull. People say you’re headstrong but you just say they’re beta. Now is the time to really assert this and take control. How to do this you ask? Simple. Chronic Masturbation! Everywhere and anywhere, break the taboo. The library, the chaplaincy, the Plug and Tub (the stars told me that would definitely work) or most definitely if you’re best man at a wedding. What better way to assert your confidence and dominance in a lecture than taking notes with one and dead eyeing the lecturer, then with the other shamelessly servicing yourself. The time is now Taurus, grab life by the ... horns.
Now is the time to be selfless Leo, if you complete a few simple tasks this week then incredible things will happen. The stars say that you must spread this issue of bathimpact throughout the world for it speaks the truth and enlightens the masses. Stand on parade preaching the virtues of bite and it’s unparalleled journalistic quality, give it to all your friends and write about it on facebook. Finally bring pizza (vegetarian stuffed crust, the stars were very specific) and leave it outside bathimpact offices (Norwood, L4) every night at 7. If you do this one week’s work you will be rewarded with eternal wealth and happiness.
You’ve never really felt like you fit in have you Scorpio? You’re quite good at your job but it doesn’t really fulfil you, you’re like Martin Freeman in The Office. The degree’s going pretty well, the work isn’t too testing but you can never get interested enough in a topic to get brilliant marks. Had a few relationships but you never properly connected, so you moved onto someone else with a pretty face to repeat. The answer is clear; you must sell your home and move to Tibet to become a monk with nothing but the clothes on your back. Free yourself from this stifling culture!
Lots of nice things will happen this week Aquarius and we’re all going to hate you for it. You’ll find that someone incredible will walk into your life and they won’t be secretly crazy, or racist, or infected or French. Who are you to deserve that you lucky bastard. We’re all going to work really hard on our coursework and you’re just going to get a random idea that the lecturer thinks is original but we all see is crap. Stop hogging all the happiness Aquarius, you may be content now but remember you die alone. We’ve all accepted it and are going to get really drunk without you.
Tuesday 13th March 2012
Puzzles made by Dorian Lidell
Subdivide the grid into rectangles, such that each rectangle contains precisely one numbered square, and the area of (i.e. number of squares in) the rectangle is equal to the number written in its numbered square.
Last Week’s Solution JigsawdokuSolution
Enter the numbers 1-5 into the grid so that each number appears precisely once in each row and column. A greater-than symbol (>) between two cells indicates that one number must be larger than its neighbour.
Quiz This fortnight: food and drink! Questions: 1. Zinfandel, Muscat and Nebbiolo are varieties of which fruit? 2. The sweet teacake known as a Sally Lunn originated in which British city? 3. The dish angels on horseback consists of oysters wrapped in which cured meat? 4. Which vegetable is known in some dialects of English as ‘sparrowgrass’? 5. Who won MasterChef UK 2010? 6. Kopi Luwak, an exorbitantly expensive Indonesian coffee, is made from beans which have been digested and excreted by which animals? 7. Which fruit is used to flavour the liqueur Triple Sec? 8. From the Italian for “butterfly”, what name is given to bow-tie-shaped pasta with zigzag edges? 9. Which seafood is used in the Japanese dish ebi furai? 10. Which English chef owns the three-Michelin-star restaurant The Fat Duck?
Down 1 (poetry) A pause in the middle of a line (7) 2 Having the skin removed (6) 3 Metallic element used e.g. in dioxide form to make synthetic diamonds (atomic number 40) (9) 4 Traditional Austrian dress (6) 5 Make abnormally thin (8) 6 Noble gas whose name comes from the Greek for ‘stranger’ (atomic number 54) (5) 7 Someone in a superior position (6-2) 8 Resinated Greek wine (7) 16 Metallic element whose radioactive -90 isotope is present in nuclear fallout (atomic number 38) (9) 18 Radioactive element of the halogen series (atomic number 85) (8) 19 Someone with whom one shares a room (8) 20 Metallic element used e.g. in high- temperature thermometers (atomic number 31) (7) 21 Author’s pseudonym (3,4) 24 Capable of being accomplished; practical (6) 26 Traditional Scottish savoury pudding made with offal (6) 27 Itchy skin rash (medical name: urticaria) (5)
1. Grape 2. Bath 3. Bacon 4. Asparagus 5. Dhruv Baker 6. Palm civets 7. Orange 8. Farfalle 9. Prawn 10. Heston Blumenthal
Across 9 Radioactive element used e.g. in smoke detectors (atomic number 95) (9) 10 The best; superior (5) 11 Metalloid element used e.g. in integrated circuits (atomic number 14) (7) 12 Articles of dress (7) 13 Radioactive noble gas (atomic number 86) (5) 14 Heavy metallic element (atomic number 82, symbol Pb) (4) 15 Metallic element (atomic number 26, symbol Fe) (4) 17 Early photographic process (13) 22 Sparkling Italian wine (4) 23 Highly conductive precious metal element (atomic number 79, symbol Au) (4) 25 Pale brownish-yellow colour (5) 28 Alkali metal element used e.g. in batteries (atomic number 3) (7) 29 Substance which stimulates the production of antibodies (7) 30 Inner bones of the forearm (5) 31 Rare metalloid element used e.g. in solar panels and alloys (atomic number 52) (9)
bite needs you If you have any interest in getting involved at a contributor level, or if you’re interested in learning how to lay up a magazine, get in touch and join the team. There will also be chances for free gig tickets for reviews, and even opportunities to interview your favourite artists.
Get in touch at: email@example.com