bathimpact The University of Bath Students’ Union Newspaper
Volume 15 Issue 8
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Tobias von der Haar
Monday 10th February 2014
Universities accused of inﬂating grades ~ Page 4 Rwendland
Starbucks manager caught smuggling cocaine ~ Page 4
Universities fine students for drunkenness Jess Elliott bathimpact Contributor t has recently emerged that universities are gaining more than £550,000 in disciplinary and administrative ﬁnes aimed at their students. Middlesex University were found to have issued the greatest number of ﬁnes, charging a total of £61,400, with Bangor being the second institution on this list having issued £42,479 worth of ﬁnes. Although thirty-four of a total 128 institutions surveyed by the Guardian newspaper claimed to not ﬁne students for disciplinary issues, there are many others which openly admit to charging their students for their misdemeanours. Lancaster University has warned its students, via an email entitled ‘Crackdown on Drunkenness’, that they may be ﬁned up to £200 for being caught inebriated at their bar,
The Red Lion. Although a university spokesman has claimed that ﬁnes would only be enforced if the drunkenness results in damage to persons or property, bartenders have also been informed that ﬁnes of £250 would be charged for selling alcohol to drunken students. A similar ﬁne would occur in the case of students buying their already drunk friends another alcoholic drink. In response to this news, students at the university decided to protest by getting drunk at the bar in question. Drunkenness appears to be the biggest offence leading to ﬁnes for students, with Warwick University collecting ﬁnes to the value of £350 last year from students who were ‘drunk’ – with records giving no further explanation of events. St Edmund Hall, Oxford, collected £510 for similar wrongdoings. However, it has been claimed by the Dean
of St Edmund Hall that incidents of drunken behaviour have decreased, whilst concerns over ‘reported marijuana use’ and ‘shisha pipe use’ have increased. Records show that other offences committed by Oxford students include vomiting on a college lawn, for which £30 was charged, and breaking a framed picture by throwing it out of a window. Two students paid £60 in ﬁnes for this, apparently to cover repair costs. ‘Raucous behaviour’ whilst on an overseas trip, and ‘being rude to a minicab driver’ were also included in the report. The timing of a ﬁne can often be a cause for concern; many universities offer 14 days for a student to pay before further punishment is inﬂicted, however not all are so generous. Oxford University claims to have the power to issue immediate ﬁnes, which must be paid within two days – otherwise, a stu-
The solution is plain to see
John Barlow explores the process of dredging and how it could be applied to the River Parrett in Somerset, in order to reduce ﬂood damage.
Thomas Gane discusses his views on the ‘neknomination’ craze sweeping Facebook, in a brutally honest look at his problems with the game.
dent risks suspension. Most institutions claim that students with outstanding ﬁnes are not allowed to graduate, until they pay up. When questioned, although the majority of universities said that they treated each case individually with regards to ability to pay, few have a speciﬁc hardship policy in place to help students who simply cannot afford a ﬁne. Former NUS President Liam burns criticised the lack of support for poorer students in these situations, claiming that that despite a student’s responsibility to those around them, sanctions should be made completely clear, and be issued in proportion to the offence. He describes students who ‘cannot rely on their families or savings for ﬁnancial support’ facing a shortfall of £8,500 a year, claiming that due to this fact any ﬁnes should ‘take student hardship into account’.
es pag bite meets some fashion headliners
Abi Glencross brings us exclusive interviews with top UK stylist Angelo Seminara and fashion designer Anne-Sophie Cochevelo. See centre page spread.
Monday 10th February 2014
With a chance of rainbows B
y now I’m sure you’ve heard the amazing news, but bathimpact thought that we too would comment on how powerful gay people are according to one councillor from Henleyon-Thames. Yes, it came as quite a shock to us too – not least our openly gay Deputy Editor-in-Chief – that gays can in fact control the weather. The councillor in question, one Mr. David Silvester, wrote into his local newspaper to say that it was the Prime Minister’s ‘fault that large swathes of the nation have been afﬂicted by storms and ﬂoods’ due to his support of and eventual passing of the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill last year. Although we at bathimpact ﬁnd the supposed correlation between nuptials and ﬂooding utterly laughable, the man is though, of course, entitled to his own opinions. Following the publishing of his letter, UKIP declared how his views were not shared by the party, but they defended his rights to state his opinion. Mr Silvester has now been
expelled from the party. The difﬁculty in this case is the fact that this man held ofﬁce. His well-publicised views can now be construed as the views of his political party no matter how much UKIP attempt to distance themselves from them. bathimpact hardly believe that the average UKIP member agrees with Mr Silvester, but ultimately the damage to the brand has already been done. In the fallout from Mr Silvester’s letter to the Henley Standard, Nigel Farrage was overtly vocal in explaining to the press that Mr Silvester had “said a deluge of similar things before when he was a Tory councillor”. We at bathimpact looked into this and can conﬁrm that Mr Silvester had said things similar to this before, while a Conservative councillor. He did not, however, actually go as far as blaming the weather on equal marriage, instead he warned David Cameron that if same sex marriage was made legal he would experience ‘God’s displeasure within your ministry’.
Now, we’re pretty sure that saying something ‘may’ happen as a consequence of your actions is entirely different than saying it ‘has’ happened because of your actions. It is still true, however - if Mr Farrage and UKIP now ﬁnd the expression of these views “unacceptable”, then why on earth did they accept him into their party in the ﬁrst place if he had said “a deluge of similar things before”? bathimpact ﬁnds it utterly bafﬂing. To make things worse, the BBC gave Mr Farrage the opportunity to present a ‘joke’ weather forecast on their Sunday Politics show. Is it really appropriate to make light of some of these comments? Especially as, although they have not caused great offense, they have caused great ridicule to the party. Using humour like this to hide some of the less than reputable aspects of your party is not good for democracy. To us it doesn’t seem right to give someone the ability to join in with the ridicule over these kinds of comments when they are responsi-
ble for the overall policy direction of their party. Mr Silvester’s comments are becoming part of a trend for UKIP, the more they are scrutinised by the media, the more of their dirty laundry is being aired in public. It’s just recently come to light of course that one of their MEPs, Gerard Batten, believes that Muslims should sign a declaration that says they reject violence. Not only that, a former member, who held the position of Commonwealth spokesperson was recently revealed as having been the head of a kidnapping gang in Pakistan, following a BBC investigation. Mr Farrage is trying to professionalise the party. Until he does that though, we at bathimpact think we will be hearing more about members who hold views, or have histories, which are utterly abhorrent to the majority of society today. Good luck in May’s European Elections, UKIP. We look forward to seeing the party shed some of its more, shall we say, maverick credentials.
The gloriﬁcation of tragedy A
my Winehouse, Cory Monteith, Philip Seymour Hoffman. All of us can recognise a list of people who have died as a result of substance abuse and chronic addiction. We can also recognise that these are celebrities who lived and died in the public eye, immortalised by the mourning of many due to their elevated status and their millions of fans. We do not seek to devalue or dismiss the emotional responses some of you may have had to the deaths of any of these people; a person's death will always be a tragic event, especially when it could have been avoided. The question we would like to ask is this: why do we elevate actors who have passed away as a result of, for example, heroin overdoses, to a Godlike status when so many 'ordinary' people die for the same reasons all
around us? Precious few people reading this article will have met or personally known Hoffman, Winehouse or Monteith, yet the huge ripples of grief from their passing is highly visible on national and international media outlets as well as the several forms of social media at our disposal in the 21st century. So why does this happen? Why do we deify them? We understand that celebrities are the vehicles of escapism for millions of us, but they are also people. Just people. We can project onto them and use them to help us through our battles, but we have to understand that celebrities are ﬁghting their own battles as well. Those in the public eye are no more or less important than those who live on the streets, whom we walk past and whom suffer daily from
addiction and substance abuse. The difference is our response to them. We channel our grief at the loss of Hoffman into tributes, worldwide trending hashtags and countless statuses about the loss of a beautiful life and a wonderful talent. We turn our tears over Amy Winehouse into ﬂowers outside her home and candlelight vigils, but nothing seems to come of it. We move through the period of mourning and then we ﬁxate on the next big name Hollywood throws at us. Here at bathimpact, we believe the grief we feel should be transformed into international fallout. The families of victims of addiction deserve privacy to grieve in their own way, it does not help to have constant, global reminders of their loss, often the glamourizing of a tragic event to sell papers or gain advertising revenue.
When it comes to the fans, music and ﬁlm lovers, a way to truly celebrate somebody greatly admired is to make moves for positive change in their name. Strong feelings have the potential to be translated into actions, such as the support of charities that work with addicts. According to the charity Action for Addiction, there are 150,000 deaths in the UK every year due to addictions to alcohol, smoking and drugs. These are all preventable deaths, and each of them is a tragedy. Philip Seymour Hoffman was a man of great talent – however, loss is loss, and surely all life is of value. When those across the globe are lamenting the death of someone so far removed from themselves, while other individuals passed by these same people every day are suffering in the same way and ignored, it just doesn’t quite seem right.
is seen in the recent events on the Birmingham University Edgbaston campus, where a group of supporters of Defend Education Birmingham and students from across the country were carrying out a peaceful sit-in against rising fees and low staff wages. Unfortunately, the situation escalated, and the protesters and police have given starkly different accounts of the events. University representatives have said that police were called once protesters started breaking into buildings. The protesters have also been accused of damaging property and even of assaulting staff members. Members of Defend Education Birmingham have claimed that police kettled around 100 students for several hours, some of whom were trapped out on a cold rooftop, while the police involved deny that any kettling took
place at all. Both sides are calling the actions of the other disgraceful and unacceptable, and news of the violent clashes have unfortunately drowned out any news of the actual cause – as well as potentially undermining the voices of the group as a whole. On top of this, thirteen people have been arrested - three of whom have been charged with violent disorder, and may face up to eight years in prison. The other ten students were held under suspicion of criminal damage, assault and aggravated trespass, and a further six students have been excluded from the university for political campaigning. Something that was supposed to lead to progressive action has in fact led to huge disruption of several lives, and the souring of relationships between a university and its own students, as well as stu-
dents and the wider public. Those who have been released on bail have been given strict conditions, including that they must not see any other arrestees, meet publicly in groups of ten or more, and must sleep every night at their home address. Essentially, they are grounded, and their negative behaviour has led to them losing the liberty that is so prized when beginning university. Strong feelings are a part of protests by deﬁnition, however it is how these are acted upon that is so important. It is important to not remain so quiet that nobody pays any attention, but the destruction that these kinds of actions can have on campaigns (and the lives of those involved in them) is irreversible. Make a noise, shout and scream - but keep those ﬁsts unclenched, or suffer the consequences.
Protesting youthful outrage T
he events on our own campus over the few weeks have proven that protests are a large part of university life. As we make our ﬁrst steps into the liberated, independent lifestyle of young adults we start to formulate stronger opinions and more conﬁdently ﬁnd our voices, and the university community is a powerful platform through which to express these. It began with the (now shocking to think of) 1897 “no women at Cambridge” march, and is seen most recently in the protests and strikes against raising fees, selling off loans and stagnating staff wages. Unfortunately, too often these protests turn from peaceful, coherent arguments to short-sighted, violent outbursts, and quickly slip into infamy. An example of one of these instances
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Monday 10th February 2014
Just as much as you were vilified, as you say, from my supporters, that’s actually my community, who are vilified every single day.
Janet Mock, writer and transgender rights activist, in her second appearance on Piers Morgan’s show after the presenter repeatedly misgendered her.
The game ‘Flappy Bird’, which was created by
photo of the fortnight
Dong Nguyen and released in late January, has sparked controversy for being overly simplistic in design whilst also being ursonate
bafflingly difficult. Featuring jerky animation, bad graphics, and badly placed adverts, many have question the decision by Nintendo – whose classic green Mario pipes serve the place of the only obstacle in the game – not to sue the creator for copyright infringement.
The number of events taking place at Sochi 2014
The record breaking number of competing countries
in the rainfall of January 2014 and that of January 2013. The Met Office has stated that the rainfall of the past month was greater than the previous re-
cord rainfall for the first month of the year, in 1988. The flooding and rainfall has been so bad that an important section of railway has collapsed in the Devonshire coastal town of Dawlish, destroying the only rail link further into Devon and also Cornwall.
A graphic showing the proportional difference
updates & events UPCOMING EVENT The Bath Literature Festival. Billed as ‘a world of words’, the week and a half festival will show off the best in the words of both fiction and non-fiction, and will feature such names as Michael Rosen, Hanif Kureishi, and Jennifer Saunders. Where: Abbey Churchyard When: 28th Feb – 9th Mar
NATIONAL The former headmaster of a school attended by Nick Clegg has been jailed after information was unearthed that he had been abusing pupils between the ages of 8 and 13 at his school, between the years of 1959 and 1970. Another teacher who was due to appear alongside the headmaster, Mr Hugh Henry, is said to have thrown himself under a train last week.
INTERNATIONAL North Korea has threatened to cancel the family reunions the country agreed to with the South, just a day after agreeing to them in the first place. The last time the two Koreas agreed to hold families left divided by the DMZ separating the two countries was in 2010, and the North has been accused of using the reunions as a bargaining chip.
Fortnight in figures
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LOCAL B&NES council is proposing a budget of £9.32 million for improvements on roads across Bath and the rest of North East Someset, in an attempt to deal with the numbers of potholes. The budget is £2 million more than was originally planned, as a result of listening to the concerns of residents. The hope is to have fixed 13% of roads in B&NES county by 2016.
HEALTH Hospitals across England are being told that they need to log details of patients who suffer from injuries as a result of FGM (female genital mutilation), in an attempt to gather more information about the extent of the practice despite its outlawing in 1985. The charity NSPCC set up an FGM helpline in August of 2013, and has already received 153 calls.
UPCOMING EVENT Pollution, Contamination and Energy Supply. As part of the University of Bath’s open lecture series, Professor Bridget Emmett is to explore the current implications of pollution and contamination as a result of the quest for increasing energy supply. Where: 5 West 2.3 When: Wednesday 19th Feb, 5:15pm
Monday 10th February 2014
Alex Egan bathimpact Contributor niversities are being accused of grade inflation by relaxing grade boundaries so that students can more easily achieve 2:1s and firsts. Despite the rise in university degree grades, where 70% of students achieved higher than a 2:2 in 2013 alone, researches and economists dispute such an accusation. According to the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA), in 2012-2013 the percentages of students with first class degrees was 19%, upper second was 51%, lower second was 25% and third class was 5%. A study carried out at Lancaster University deduced that students were simply more hard-working and well-prepared for their examinations. The study also found that the improvement in grades is parallel with the rising quality of intake of students with the additional A* grade at A-level. This combined with difficult university entry requirements certainly explains the rise in good grades. The notion is supported by researcher Kwok Tong Soo, who explains that the rise in university grades is most likely simply due to an increased number
Grade inflation accusations for Unis U
The accusations bring to mind the debate about exam difficulty
of secondary school students going onto university. Dr. Soo elaborated “On average, there had been an improvement in the quality of intake of one A-level grade per student”. Dr. Soo also recognises, however, that some leniency is given to students among the top UK universities, who are 8% more likely to give higher grades to their students. For the most part, Dr. Soo stated that he believes that the accusation of universities deliberately creating grade inflation is unjust. Professor Alan Smithers, director of the Centre for Education and Employment Research at the University of Buckingham, contrastingly stated that he believes that the pressure on universities to rank higher in the league tables encourages universities in turn to put more pressure on their academics and thus there are higher expectations of the students. The competitive job market is another factor, he believes, as students feel the need to achieve higher grades in order to secure better graduate jobs. Furthermore, Professor Smithers argued that students are simply working hard to achieve the grades that they deserve. However, it is also harder for employers to distinguish between such
high grades due to many students being clustered together at the top of the scale.. The rise in first class degrees being awarded is particularly steep, from 8% in the 1990s, to 11% in 2004-2005 and 19% in 20132014, according to the HESA. Furthermore, a 2:2 used to be the most common grade, with 60% achieving the grade in the 1980s, whereas now a 2:1 is the most popular degree result, with 51% achieving the result in 2012-2013 alone. Martin Birchall, head of a graduate recruitment research company, stated that three-quarters of the UK’s top 100 graduate recruitment firms demand a 2:1 as a minimum standard. A 2:1 is now being seen as a more common grade, despite it being the second-best degree result students can achieve. Lancaster University admitted after carrying out its study that the subject is highly ‘emotive’ and debatable, with alumni defending their results claiming it to be hard work and those who accuse universities of inflating grades were merely pointing fingers at statistics. Various lecturers and students have expressed their opinions, with some claiming that there is a definite pressure for staff to inflate their grades.
by police officers leaving the depot.” Subsequent police searches of Mr Lopez’s home unearthed three packets of cocaine along with a set of electronic scales. He pleaded guilty to possession with intent to supply and was given an 18-month sentence, to be served concurrently alongside a three-year sentence for attempting to smuggle drugs into the UK. Summarising, the judge told Mr Lopez “These are serious offences. “You have brought a Class A drug into the country and admitted possession with intent to supply. “You clearly knew something about the scale of the operation and you were operating to some extent on your own in the UK, there was no one breathing down your neck." Following the judgement, DC Neil Wood commented: “Lopez attempted to conceal his involvement in this enterprise; however he was not successful in evading us.
“The sentence I believe reflects the severity of the crime, which in turn I hope will deter others from entering into such criminality. “Illegal drugs have no place in our communities, and we are committed to tackling those that distribute them.” Mr Lopez first became involved with a drugs cartel whilst visiting family in his home country of Colombia, which remains a major world producer of cocaine despite concerted military efforts by the US and Colombian governments to crack down on coca leaf cultivation, as well as trafficking by cartels. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime estimated the total value of the global cocaine industry at $88 billion (£53.9 billion) in 2008. In the same year, European Economic Area countries consumed approximately 124 tons of the drug, over half of which originated in Latin America.
Tom Ash bathimpact Features Editor
man in Bath attempted to use a branch of the Starbucks coffee chain as a front for a drug smuggling operation, it has emerged. Rodrigo Lopez appeared before Bristol Crown Court where he was charged with attempting to smuggle £15,960 worth of cocaine into the United Kingdom, as well as possession with intent to supply. The 33 year-old, who until his arrest was branch manager of Starbucks on Avon Street, arranged for the parcel of narcotics to be delivered to the franchise’s former premises on Bond Street. Acting
under the false name of Alessandro Batista, local accounts differ on how Mr Lopez, a Colombian national, intended to collect the contraband goods: the Bath Chronicle reports that he expected the package to be left at the stationery shop next door to the disused café, whilst the Western Daily Press supposes that Mr Lopez hoped all along that Parcel Force would hand his delivery over to the Post Office, where it would be awaiting him when he came to retrieve it. Unfortunately for Mr Lopez, the shipment from Latin America was intercepted by the UK Border Agency in November 2013. Anti-drugs officials then exchanged the parcel
It was with great sadness that the University announced the death of second year undergraduate Christopher Taylor, who was studying chemistry. He died on Thursday 23rd January. Chris’ body was recovered from the River Avon, and police have commented that his death is not being considered suspicious at this time. Chris was a popular, dedicated part-time tennis coach at the University of Bath Sports Training Village, and bathimpact’s thoughts are with his friends and family at this time. We offer our deepest
condolences for their loss. If you have been affected by the death of Chris Taylor in any way, the University can provide a range of support. Counselling support for students is available by emailing the Student Health and Wellbeing Team at email@example.com, however this support is only available during working hours. There is also a 24/7 service provided by the Samaritans, which is both free and confidential and can be reached by emailing jo@ samartins.org or by phone at 08457 909090.
Untimely death of Bath student
with a substitute which was subsequently tracked to Bath. Prosecutor Paul Ricketts told Bristol Crown Court: “Parcel Force attempted to deliver the package to an address on Old Bond Street in Bath, but it proved unsuccessful. “On 27th November someone logged onto their website to ask them to deliver the package to the stationers, but Parcel Force informed the recipient that it had been taken to their depot and was available for collecting. “On 28th November a cashier was approached by the defendant who said “I have a parcel to pick up, I think there has been some confusion as it was sent to Starbucks, not to me.” “He gave his name as Alexander Batista and was able to produce a unique reference number. “The parcel was handed to the defendant; he signed for it under the name Batista and was then detained
Bath Starbucks used as drugs front
Monday 10th Feburary 2014
On the lack of student activism Wiggum
Tommy Parker bathimpact Contributor
tudents have many roles that they have to fulfil while they attend University - academic, party animal, bread winner, sportsperson, singer/dancer/other societal noun. Yet arguably one of the most important parts of university life is the one that is sorely lacking; student activism. When we first arrive at university, it is like the first taste of freedom. Gone are the shackles that are our parents, and we’re finally free to do what we want (for the most part) and make changes to our lives, to be treated like adults. So why aren’t more of us forming picket lines, starting petitions and harassing passers-by to care about the issues we think they should? There are a myriad of answers but I think it boils down to being disillusioned with a government that doesn’t seem to care about what we want as well as a competitive job market forcing students to concentrate solely on their studies for fear of the repercussions. The former stems from the recent attacks that have been made to higher education from our government, involving all major political parties. With £3000 fees introduced by Labour and the further increase to £9000 by the current coalition despite promises by Nick Clegg to the contrary, students have been left feeling undervalued (ironically) and uncared for. Despite huge protests against the loan increase and
The current state of student activism is a far cry from the current apathy that many students feel false promises, it has led to students student life. Each year the job mar- whether it may affect job opportunithinking that they are being ignored ket gets more and more competi- ties - for example, my high levels of by the higher ups. By not taking our tive, and so higher and higher grades participation with the LGBT group opinions into account and not engag- are required to get into graduate and its campaigns. What if my eming students on the things that mat- schemes. This ultimately ends up ployer is homophobic? What if my ter to us, the government are aiding with students spending more time stance on LGBT rights leads causes a lack of active student participants studying and less time being in- my application being declined? in activism. This leads to low student volved in other aspects of university What if my campaigning on equal voter turnout, which in turn leads to life. Students just don’t have time to marriage comes across as unruly and MPs not representing student views. march on Downing Street, not when makes it seem like I would be a bad A vicious circle that causes our voices there is a mountain of books we have employee? Worries such as these to remain unheard, ignored and for- to read. And why would we when it’s force me to second guess myself and gotten. These things, along with the costing us £9000 per annum to be question every action I do. Concerns inability of the NUS to take strong here? This, coupled with the fact that like these are bound to be expressed and affirmative action on behalf involvement with any movement by other students, but maybe with of students at the highest level has may later get back to your employ- less of a gay flavour. resulted in students thinking that er, has led to students questioning But I believe being active in not taking action is inevitably pointless. whether participation with a cause only the local community, but on a What’s the point of campaigning if it they believe in can harm them and national scale is incredibly important isn’t going to change anything? be seen in a negative light. I must and enriches the student experience. The latter is more prevalent and admit I am timid in writing about We are the next generation to take can risk not only student activism, my involvement with certain student up positions of power and this is the but participation in other aspects of groups in my CV, as I have no idea only world we are going to get. We
must take on the mantle of responsibility now and understand that we must take a stand on the changes we want to come about. To quote Malcolm X, “a man who stands for nothing will fall for anything”. This is just as applicable now as it ever was. By not talking a stance on the issues that we believe in, we let institutions, like the government, walk over us and impose rules and regulations that we don’t want or need. The time to act is now, and it has never been easier. Recently there has been a creation of a campaigning toolkit available on BathStudent. com made by our Community Officer. This has a guide to help students to start their own campaigns and to make changes in their communities. If starting a new campaign isn’t your thing you can get involved with some of the campaigns already underway by some societies and the diversity and support groups. Amnesty recently had a “free Pussy Riot” campaign involving balaclavas and a flash mob and LGBT and Gender Equality have campaigns happening in the upcoming semester on desexualising lesbians and the rules of consent. In addition our very own Students’ Union also runs campaigns ranging from the proposed privatisation of student loans,the staff pay dispute and mental health. You can become of the Th!nk week volunteers who campaign and inform students on things like sexual health and alcohol awareness too. So join-in, c’mon!
The controversies of free speech Dan Reid bathimpact Contributor
much of the consternation revolves around the supposed abhorrence of Choudary’s views. His two main propositions are that: “There is a war against our brothers and sisters around the world” and “I believe the cause of this was David Cameron and his foreign policy.” Regardless of whether you find beauty or hidsnapperjack
fter the killers of drummer Lee Rigby were handed their guilty verdicts, BBC Radio 4 controversially invited Anjem Choudary onto its Today programme. This decision led to widespread condemnation,
with Imran Awan calling Choudary a ‘pantomime villain’ at the Huffington Post, and Telegraph columnist Tom Chivers labelling Choudary ‘a Muslim David Icke’. Of course, freedom of speech contains no guarantee of a platform, and provides no shield against vehement criticism. However,
Anjem Choudarywas described by a Telegraph columnist as being like a ‘Muslim David Icke’
eousness in these opinions, such views are widely disbursed. The idea that Western foreign policy represents a war on Muslims or Islam ferments much anti-war thought. A Stop the War coalition leaflet states: ‘Waging war on mainly Muslim countries means demonising the populations of those countries, claiming that they subscribe to different values’. Nidal Hasan, the US army psychiatrist who killed 13 people at Fort Hood, said he believes the United States is at war with Islam. Earl Cox, an international broadcaster who writes for the Jerusalem Post, asks: ‘when will America wake up and finally realize that we are, indeed, at war with Islam?’. John Feffer has penned a book entitled Crusade 2.0: The West’s Resurgent War on Islam. According to Wired, a Pentagon course advocated a ‘total war’ against all the world’s Muslims. Similarly, British – or more generally, Western – foreign policy causing terrorism is a widely discussed idea. Mehdi Hasan, the political editor of the Huffington Post UK, rejects the notion of a ‘conveyor belt’ towards terrorism, except when British foreign policy is turning the cogs. Mr Hasan wrote: ‘Yet establishment figures continue to denounce those of us who cite the radicalising role of foreign policy as
‘excuse-makers’ for al-Qaeda. To explain is not to excuse.’ Seumas Milne said in the Guardian that Rigby’s murder and acts of terrorism in Britain are ‘the predicted consequence of an avalanche of violence unleashed by the US, Britain and others in eight direct military interventions in Arab and Muslim countries that have left hundreds of thousands of dead.’ In the interview on Radio 4, Choudary repeatedly disagreed with US drone strikes. Owen Jones complained the British media gives Choudary a platform ‘to troll us’, but the same Owen Jones approved of former US President Jimmy Carter’s assessment that drone strikes ‘abets our enemies and alienates our friends’. Former London mayor Ken Livingstone stated after Lee Rigby’s murder: “In 2002, before the invasion of Iraq, the security services warned the Prime Minister Tony Blair that this would make Britain a target for terrorist attacks. We are still experiencing the dreadful truth of this warning.” Whilst people might dislike their grotesque vessel, Choudary’s ideas are hardly uncommon. Indeed, some are shared amongst our country’s commentators: they deserve to be debated and fully challenged.
Monday 10th February 2014
A lot of neknomination indignation Drink horrible mixed up things. Drink lots of horrible things. Do lines of ketamine off each other, go crazy. I couldn’t care less about what you do with your time or your body, so long as it’s what you want to do rather than what you feel obliged to do. I know you’ll say it’s all in good fun and that no one is being forced, but it’s the snide comments that follow (which
Anthony Masters bathimpact Contributor uring a Newsnight discussion with actor Matthew Perry and Baroness Meacher, Mail on Sunday columnist Peter Hitchens argued that addiction is a “complete fantasy” because “humans have free will”. Hitchens’ later article, Matthew Perry and the Addiction Fiction, reveals this stance is highly dependent on fallacious reasoning. When discussing reports of Perry’s “battling addiction”, Hitchens describes this as “a prejudiced phrase which assumes that ‘addiction’ exists, and that he has no free will, and so must wrestle for the rest of his days with some mighty overpowering force.” It is a false dichotomy to suggest an addiction has no free will. Firstly, many medical conditions are characterised by involuntary actions, such as incontinence and Tourette’s syndrome; incontinence does not abolish free will. Human will is constrained by our frailties: unconstrained will is a matter for creator gods. Secondly, even if the drug use is wholly voluntary, that does not make addiction an “excuse” as Hitchens suggests, nor does it extinguish addiction as a meaningful concept. The American Society of Addiction Medicine defines addiction as: ‘a primary, chronic disease of brain reward,
motivation, memory and related circuitry. Dysfunction in these circuits leads to characteristic biological, psychological, social and spiritual manifestations. This is reflected in an individual pathologically pursuing reward and/or relief by substance use and other behaviours.’ Thus, an addiction discourages cessation with physical and psychological pain. Hitchens points out Theodore Dalrymple’s book ‘Junk Medicine’. Dalrymple worked as a prison doctor, and is the pen-name of Anthony Daniels, who wrote in the New Statesman that: ‘Addiction is a real physiological phenomenon, of course, and there are addictions to drugs from which withdrawal can actually be dangerous: alcohol is the one that springs to mind.’ Dalrymple believes the effects of heroin withdrawal have been exaggerated, arguing it is no worse than having the flu. Turning to alcohol, the observed symptoms of alcohol withdrawal can include shaking and hallucinations. Hallucinations may be an atypical withdrawal symptom, but are by no means a cinematic invention. By partially highlighting Dalrymple’s work over other doctors – their observations are dismissed as merely ‘opinion’ – and failing to mention Dalrymple’s other statements, Hitchens commits the
will probably be sexist or homophobic, you little jokers) that will make people feel marginalised if they don’t participate. This then makes people do things they’re uncomfortable doing and that’s when people get hurt. Two people at least have already died from X which highlights the fact that sometimes it’s not all just a bit of fun. I’m not saying it’s just X that does
this, it’s just that X so obviously highlights the problems with this culture of excess in a public forum and people just can’t seem to see it. Alcohol is a drug, it’s important to remember that. You need to learn how to use any drug, whether it’s legal or illegal. X just continues the trend that the only goal when drinking is complete intoxication, and that you’re
Tom Gane bathimpact Contributor ’d like to thank Helen for the nomination for this article. What I’m going to be writing today is two-fifths description and two-fifths comment, with one-fifth of an attempt at lazy humour and a sprinkle of sarcasm to finish it off. Furthermore, you should notice that I am naked with my balls strapped to a golf car battery and also that Nigel Farage is slowly entering me whilst reading tomorrow’s weather forecast. The very astute amongst you will have also realised that I am a massive prick”. That’s a small exaggeration of the current #neknominate trend that is currently sweeping all of our Facebook feeds, and I’m pretty sure you’ve already gathered that I hate it. I even hate the pointlessly misspelled name, so from now on we’ll call it X. X is a game in which one idiot mixes a horrible drink while saying horrible ‘bantery’ things with their dick holster, before washing said drink down said dick holster in one gaggy deep throaty motion. It started in Australia where there’s nothing to do but melt or be mauled, so I guess it’s the only place where inventing X was actually more sensible than going outside - but everywhere else I just don’t get it. It’s Facebook chain mail that just serves to confirm that LAD culture and binge drinking are all done not for personal enjoyment but out of peer pressure, and that’s the real problem I have with X.
Some neknominations include swallowing goldfish, which the RSPCA has warned is illegal
somehow not doing it right if you aren’t destroying yourself one organ at a time. It also makes the pressure to conform even greater due to its presence in a public domain where everyone can see who chooses to or not to participate. This pressure is even greater when the person nominating the student, and thereby endorsing the culture that it is a part of, holds a position of power in the SU. This gives it an almost official endorsement and makes it even harder for people to turn down their nominations. My other quarrel with this is that people seem to think these things are impressive. In 1973 David Bowie and Iggy Pop lived off nothing but cocaine and red peppers and managed to create something as awesome as Raw Power, and that’s impressive. I know we can’t all create iconic punk albums whilst more buzzed than a human’s ever been, but we can do better than eggs and Carslberg. Surely us millennials aren’t that pathetic? Admittedly my hatred for X is now diminishing as Flappy Bird and Facebook videos take over my new feed. I guess I just hate whatever you guys are doing regardless and I’m just a dick. Still, the next time someone nominates you please just take a moment to think about whether you’ll really enjoy it, or even if there’s any point in doing it in the first place. If the answer to both of these is no, then just don’t do it - the only thing you’re doing is giving some douchebag a banterection.
The many fallacies of Peter Hitchens describe what addiction is imply its non-existence – that is an argument from fallacies. Hitchens’ arguments – that addiction currently lacks a medical test, that withdrawal symptoms are overstated, and that a large
bureaucracy rests upon tapering drug use – do not prove that addiction is a ‘complete fantasy’. That is simply a non sequitur. Addiction is a real physiological condition, though its effects may be misunderstood. Policy Exchange
cherry-picking fallacy. Moreover, if, as Hitchens claims, addiction was not real, then there would be no withdrawal symptoms. This is the stolen concept fallacy: the belief that withdrawal symptoms are real but overestimated necessarily includes the belief that such symptoms exist. During the television discussion, Hitchens argued that addiction’s non-existence was demonstrated by a lack of ‘an objective diagnosis’. Medical conditions can present with strange symptoms; supposedly ‘core’ symptoms may be absent. Clinical diagnoses are made without performing any tests. Mental illnesses are diagnosed by behavioural observations and psychological examination. Hitchens’ argument misunderstands the procedure of medical diagnosis. Hitchens then states that deference to doctors should be avoided, as they are “often horribly wrong and are very vulnerable to fashion”. Furthermore, he stated that “doctors also don’t want to miss a chance to keep a patient by prescribing a pill or a spell in a costly clinic. Their opinion is no substitute for thought.” This is an appeal to motive: owning a medical doctorate does not affect the validity of the proposition that addiction exists. Also, neither does Matthew Perry, an addict, being unable to
Hitchens threw Matthew Perry’s experience with addiction aside
Monday 10th February 2014
Just a harmless puff of smoke?
The jury is still out on the effects of the vapourised nicotine fad.
wo thirds of Britain’s ten million smokers would like to quit, according to Action on Smoking and Health, so anything that gives someone an edge in kicking the habit has got to be good, right? Well, it’s not as cut and dry as all that. Kicking that addiction isn’t as easy as just stopping or having the will to do so, which is why a market has sprung up in aids to stop smoking, such as nicotine patches. However, recently the usage of e-cigarettes (also known as vaporisers) has doubled over the past year from half a million to 1.2 million. Proponents of the e-cigs market them as the perfect solution: almost exactly the same as cigarettes except without the cocktail of dangerous chemicals; just propylene glycol, glycerine and nicotine, which vaporise harmlessly and deliver a smoke-free dose directly to the smoker. You still have the sociable aspect of smoking: you can do it inside, you get the nicotine and you don’t get the tar build up in your lungs. What more, it’s cheaper than tobacco, with a unit costing about the same as a packet of cigarettes and reﬁlls (about the equivalent of twenty cigarettes) coming in at about a pound apiece - everyone’s a winner, right?
Well, not quite. As with all new technologies, we don’t have any concrete data on its effects. There could be side effects nobody suspects and, unlike other drugs of similar or even lesser potencies, nicotine is remarkably unregulated and can just be sold by corner shops everywhere. From 2016, ecigarettes will be classed as a drug, which means that doctors will be able to prescribe them to smokers in an effort to help them transition away from cigarettes, and it will also be regulated by the Medical and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency. The main contention, though, is that ‘vaping’ is gaining acceptance and not just normalising, but glamourising smoking. It’s perceived as the healthier way to smoke, and celebrities and actresses (such as Julia LouisDreyfus) are hopping on the band wagon and being photographed at awards ceremonies or walking out of bars pufﬁng away at them. In line with these concerns, legislation is currently going through Parliament to ban the sale of e-cigarettes to under-18s in England, and a vote in the Welsh Assembly on the 5th saw a motion passed to extend the restriction to Wales. The reasoning, according to the Health Minister Mark Drakeford, is that “it contains nicotine and nicotine is highly addictive. And what we don’t want are e-ciga-
rettes to become a gateway to real cigarettes.” Vaping indoors is currently a legally contentious point too, with legal expert Alex Bonner stating that “it’s up to employers to make their own policy decision as to whether or not to allow vaping at work. Employers have an obligation to provide a safe place of work... The long-term health implications of the e-cigarette are not yet known and it has even been suggested that they may not currently meet appropriate standards of safety and quality.” His comments reﬂected a University of Sterling/Cancer Research UK
report questioning the safety of some of the nicotine doses in some e-cigarette models (as well as the propylene glycol the nicotine is suspended in). The World Health Organisation have stated as of July 2013 that the efﬁcacy in using e-cigs as a smoking cessation aid has not been demonstrated scientiﬁcally and that they recommended ‘consumers should be strongly advised not to use’ them until a reputable national regulatory body okayed them. The British Medical Association reports a possibility of smoking cessation beneﬁts, but has concerns about their regula-
tion - especially when compared with conventional nicotine replacement therapy - and the lack of peer-reviewed evidence. A study in 2013 found no difference in efﬁcacy between e-cigarettes with nicotine and traditional nicotine replacement treatment patches. But whether or not they can help wean you off nicotine, what they deﬁnitely do is offer a safer alternative to smoking with none of the drawbacks of the conventional patches or alternatives. There may be risks in the long term, but it’s unlikely that they’re going to be worse that regular cigarettes.
Nick West bathimpact Contributor
Why we have LGBT History Month Tommy Parker explores worldwide developments in LGBT rights.
ebruary sees the return of LGBT history month, wherein we celebrate and remember important LGBT people and the struggles for equality in both the law and society. The recent passage of the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill brings into light the oppression of the LGBT community over the course of history and the trials that
LGBT people have to suffer all over the world today. It is important at times like these to look back at the progression of the United Kingdom in terms of its attitude towards homosexuality and trans people and how recently opinions have changed. Homosexuality was ﬁrst criminalised in England way back in 1533 by the Buggery
Student Loan Sale Sally Williamson Bath SU Community Ofﬁcer The government is planning to sell all student loans taken out since 1998. This would mean loan payments would be collected by a private company, with potential increases in interest rates, representing a further attack on Higher Education. The National Union of Students, alongside 47 Students’ Unions around the country (including Bath Students’ Union) have joined up to fight alongside this - for more information visit BathStudent. com/StopTheSale
Act (although previously considered sinful, this was the moment at which it was formally made illegal). Being convicted under this law was punishable by death until 1861, at which point it was changed to imprisonment. Interestingly, these laws only applied to homosexual acts between males; lesbianism wasn’t acknowledged and was mostly ignored by the law. The status quo remained unchanged until the mid-twentieth century. Anti-homosexuality laws were still being actively enforced as early as the 1950s. By the end of 1954, there were 1,069 gay men in prison in England and Wales, with an average age of 37. As a result of more and more public outcry, the Sexual Offences Act of 1967 was introduced. This legalised homosexual acts between consenting adult men of the age of 21 (the age of consent would eventually be equalised in 2001). In Scotland such a reform wasn’t introduced until 1980. Sadly, the decriminalisation of homosexuality in Great Britain came too late for people such as the great scientist Alan Turing who was convicted for having comitted homosexual acts, for which he later take his own life. LGBT rights would later see setbacks such as Section 28 which criminalised the promition of homosexuali-
ty, similar to the recent Russian law. Although no-one was convicted, it had disastrous effects on gay rights charities and LGBT-related education. This was repealed in February 2003, and this is why LGBT history is celebrated during this month. In terms of more recent government actions, it wasn’t until 2000 that the army allowed openly gay service members and 2002 until the government issued a policy declassifying transsexualism as a mental illness. Likewise it wasn’t until 2007 that it was made illegal to prohibit goods and services on grounds of sexual orientation. “Why does this all matter now?” I hear you ask. As progressive and forward thinking as the UK has become, there are still lots of countries that have strict and draconian antihomosexual laws, and LGBT history month helps highlight that fact. There are 83 countries that criminalise homosexuality, with ﬁve still carrying the death penalty. Take India, for example, its Supreme Court recently upheld a 1861 law criminalising homosexual acts after it had been deemed unconstitutional in 2009 by the Dehli High Court. But there are other laws harming the LGBT community a, such as Russia with its ‘Anti-Homosexuality Propaganda’ law and its proposed bill to
forcibly take children away from gay and lesbian parents. These laws also increase intolerance towards LGBT people from the general populace; increased violence and hatred makes it dangerous for them to live in that country. By shining a light on these injustices, LGBT history month allows us to challenge them and try to make the world better. There will be a string of events happening around Bath and the University during February to commemorate LGBT people. The local council will be ﬂying a rainbow ﬂag to show its support, and the Bath University LGBT and friends group will be holding a series of events, both to do with history and the theme of music. They have also partnered up with other societies to truly make it a University-wide cross collaboration. It will also coincide with LGBT awareness week (beginning 17th February) when rainbow ribbons will be distributed to show support for LGBT people everywhere. For the many wrongs committed and the many triumphs achieved, it is important to look back on the rich and diverse history of LGBT people. By looking back can we learn from mistakes and know the best way to move forward on equality both at home in the UK and the world.
Monday 10th February 2014
Modernising Bath’s housing market A digital solution to the problem of moving during the academic year paper work and the paranoia of landlords and letting agencies of being somehow screwed over by their student tenants contribute to the extreme rigidity and lack of flexibility that characterise Bath’s student housing market. Because of such rigidity, in fact, the demand for houses, flats and rooms in Bath takes a long time to be matched, and when it finally does get matched it is not under the conditions desired by students. Thus one can easily imagine the perils that a student coming to
We all know how tricky house hunting in our lovely Bath can sometimes be and how much forward planning it can be. Organising yourself six to eight months before the move-in date is just one of the many steps that students must go through in order to secure accommodation. Then follow the guarantor form (for which you must be a UK resident and, if you haven’t got one, pay three months’ rent in advance), contract, inventory and a pile of other bureaucratic forms. All such
Bath in second semester will encounter in sorting out accommodation. What could then be the solution of this problem, the trick to make student housing in Bath a lot easier to deal with? In our ultra-digitalised era you would expect such solution to arrive perhaps from the Internet, and this in fact might be the case. As has already happened in many other markets, a start-up company has developed an innovative idea in order to make room hunting for students a lot easier. The idea is to create an online platform on a global scale, accessible only by students (with their university email address) and was developed by a group of students in Rotterdam who founded the company HousingAnywhere.com. The concept is similar to the one developed by “AirB’n’B”, but applied to the student housing world. If somebody leaves their room for a semester for an exchange or a placement, they can post an advert on the platform allowing incoming or returning students to take over the room. This system allows the student turnover that unfailingly occurs with the start of every semester to run a lot more smoothly and lays the foundation for a peer-to-peer housing
system that in Bath, unlikely in many other cities, does not exist yet. The success of this innovative idea is proven by the growth that HousingAnywhere.com has witnessed in only two years since its launch. From starting as an internal housing platform within the Erasmus University of Rotterdam, in few months it spread all around the Netherlands and soon attracted the attention of a number of foreign universities, who have seen the potential of this idea and hence decided to buy the license, allowing their students to have access to the platform. It now counts over 80 partners all around the world, and it has recently also taken off in the UK; our university and UWE Bristol have been the first to join the network, but many other higher education institutions in the country have expressed their interest regarding the platform. On Monday 26th January, representatives of 22 universities had the chance to meet the founders of HousingAnywhere.com at the Dutch embassy in London and discuss the terms of a possible collaboration. Now time will tell us whether this project will join the ever-increasing list of success stories based on innovation in the digital sphere.
but rather an event highlighting the important of the industry to our economic prosperity. Across the EU, beer is the lifeline for one per cent of the entire area’s jobs, and a large source of happiness, tomfoolery and drunken debates about whether Jennifer Lawrence really deserved that Oscar (just me?) What is clear is that at a time of uncertainty in Europe, beer should be healthily taxed, justifying its mark-up due to the social and health problems it can cause. But the implications of
burning oil are similar and will cause incalculable amounts of economic and social issues in the years to come. Yet the latter product is both underpriced and overly subsidized. But don’t worry; have a drink and forget about it. Alcohol should be drunk with great responsibility and yes, it has been known to rip families apart. But as far as it goes, it might well be one of industries in Europe which we should be proud of for its innovation and adaptation in the face of change. Cheers!
EconomicsBeerof Oldﬁeld Park is a popular choice amongst Bath and Bath Spa students looking for accommodation.
f there is a Mecca for beer, Brussels is it. Wherever you go, you can’t escape the feeling that, despite being one of the older nationstates in the world, Belgium is clinging onto that one thing. The much lauded Delirium bar offers up to 3000 beers, whilst 18 monasteries across the country have earned the title ‘Abbey breweries’. All in all, Belgium has a similar rate of beer brands per person as Burkina Faso has doctors. But perhaps they pride themselves on their beer because Belgium is best seen drunk. The dreary concrete jungle with a few medieval churches thrown in is far from inspiring, so with little thought and a considerable amount of La Chouffe in my body, I drunkenly bought a ticket to the home of good cider: the West Country. If Belgium produces the best beer, it is safe to say that Great Britain creates the best drinkers. Whether you’re a WKD-drinking sixteen year-old in your mum’s stilettos, drunkenly trying to convince a bouncer it’s your own ID, or a struggling writer self-indulged in your own misery sipping on a glass of Scottish whisky, England’s international reputation is still strong. But all is not well on the boozefront. Despite supplying £21 billion in taxes and supporting around 1 million UK jobs, pubs are closing at a record
pace across the country. Many blame excessive taxes, with one third of your pint’s cost going to the government. At the moment, a barrel of decent beer sets you back around £150. Naturally, that is pre-tax, packaging and mark-up, making it a reasonable price for 240 pints (or 63p a beer). If we compare that to a slightly more important commodity (although considerably less delicious), oil, you ﬁnd yourself with a slightly perplexing economic conundrum. If one barrel of oil has the equivalent energy of a man working 40-hour weeks for ten years, you might assume it would cost more than its current cost of £59. So, is beer costing too much, or oil too little? Is there a happy medium? The truth is that beer is very reasonably priced in your standard bar. The taxes are fair because a) they need to cover the health related costs associated with it and b) support the industry to which it is related. Where pubs are shutting down it is because, as the Good Pub Guide claims, they are ‘stuck in the eighties’, unable to adapt to the new market. To blame the decline of these quintessentially British institutions solely on price is to simply misunderstand the concept of ‘market trends’. But what if the £3.12 – average Somerset price – is too much? A few
of us can recant our memories of waking up in A&E having downed a litre of White Ace, but is our inebriation costing the NHS £21 billion? No. In fact, it’s about a third of that at £6 billion. Naturally the government will tax this ‘luxury good’ at an inﬂated level, but is it taking liberties? You tell me. When I go back to the depressing metropolis that is Brussels, I plan to attend an event organised by the Brewers of Europe. Unfortunately, it will not be a piss-up outside of the European Union Parliament building,
Giovanni Tonutti bathimpact Contributor he start of the new semester coincides with yet another turnover in student housing. As many students going on placement, studying abroad or returning to their home university after five months of exchange in Bath are going to be ‘replaced’ by a similar number of incoming exchange or returning students. Such turnover will inevitably put the city’s student housing market under pressure.
Monday 10th February 2014
Dredging up the cause of ﬂooding Somerset has been hit with wave upon wave of ﬂoods - but why? John Barlow bathimpact Contributor f you look at any paper or news outlet over the last month, the debate raging over the Environment Agency’s (EA) response to the flooding is high on their agenda. It is well established that the Somerset levels, as a reclaimed marshland, are susceptible to flooding. What makes these floods unique, however, is their duration and close proximity to the location of the 2012 floods. Questions are being asked as to
relatively small but vocal farming community. If water stays on the fields for too long, it stagnates; at this stage the EA must chemically treat the water due to environmental concerns before it can be returned to the system. This is expensive and renders the land unsuitable for cultivation or grazing for a period of time. Farmers argue that the most efficient way to remove the water from their land quickly is by increasing river capacity to allow faster pump off. This would be achieved by dredg-
The Alternative Rice
whether the EA is in some way at fault for the poor management of the river system running through Somerset or if environmental factors are responsible. Either way, the fact is that the Somerset levels are becoming increasingly difficult to manage in their present condition, and some form of action must be taken if the highly fertile farming land is to be preserved in its current state. Currently only 40 houses have been flooded in Somerset. The majority of damage is focused upon a
The River Parrett runs through most of Somerset’s arable land, putting it at high risk of ﬂooding.
ing the silt out of the river system. But before we can adequately understand the effects of dredging, it is paramount that why floods occur on the River Parrett is fully understood. The River Parrett is the main river through Somerset; its catchment area encompasses the majority of Somerset, and it is a relatively slow flowing river due to the fact that the majority of its course is barely above sea level. Due to the Severn estuary the Parrett is tidal for the majority of its length. Flow into the sea is low and at certain times there is negative flow traveling back up the river; the result of this is that there are times when it is impossible for the EA to pump water off land and back into the river. Owen Paterson, our Environment Minister, strongly advocates the dredging of rivers. Dredging rivers removes the silt and increases the volume of the channel, increasing river capacity and flow. Dredging will not stop flooding from happening, but it will allow the floods to be pumped off flooded lands quicker. The danger with dredging is that a river does not have a uniform cross section: the capacity and flow at any two points are unique. If you dredge
upstream, you increase the likelihood of flooding downstream, unless the river there is dredged accordingly. This, however, poses a difficulty as many towns situated along the Parrett have manmade choke points, such as bridges. Dredging under bridges weakens the foundations, and failure to dredge would result in the majority of flooding being concentrated around built-up areas instead of rural areas. The alternative to dredging is to slow the rate of water entering rivers and to increase their length; this would be achieved by replanting trees and shrubs in upland areas of high runoff and returning the river to a longer, more meandering course, increasing its capacity without affecting the rate of flow. However, this interferes with current farming incentives and would encroach upon arable land. As in most practical engineering problems, a financially viable solution to prevent all flooding on the Somerset levels does not exist. There is no doubt that the current problems of flooding could be reduced, however, active intervention where flooding is concerned costs capital, and in today’s climate capital is hard to come by.
Professor Science - The Google lens D Apparently there is a new contact lens for diabetics, but what on earth does diabetes have to do with your eyes? – Frederick
Diabetes, also known as diabetes mellitus, affects 347 million people worldwide. It is a metabolic disease, which prevents the body from processing glucose in the blood efﬁciently, leading to high blood-glucose levels. This may be due to inadequate production of insulin, the body’s cells not responding properly to insulin, or both. Insulin is an important hormone produced by the pancreas. It allows the body’s cells to take up glucose.; diabetics’ cells cannot take up glucose, so do not get the energy they need. Consistently high blood-glucose levels severely affect the cardiovascular system, leading to dehydration, lethargy, nausea, blurred vision and plenty of other complications. There are three types of diabetes: type 1, type 2 and gestational diabetes. Gestational diabetes only affects women during pregnancy and is a temporary condition, usually controlable by diet and exercise. Type 2 diabetes is by far the most prevalent, with 90 per cent of
all cases worldwide being of this type. The body either does not produce enough insulin to function properly, or the cells develop insulin resistance. Being overweight, physically inactive and aging all increase the risk of type 2. Although more exercise and changes in diet can help to gain control, type 2 is a progressive disease, gradually getting worse over time. Type 1 diabetes is caused by the body’s inability to produce insulin. It is often referred to as early-onset diabetes, as people often develop it in their childhood or youth. Patients with type 1 will need insulin injections for the rest of their life. The World Health Organisation projects that diabetes will be the seventh leading cause of death by the 2030’s. People suffering from the condition need to monitor their glucose levels regularly as sudden spikes or drops are dangerous. At present, the majority of them do so by testing drops of blood. But this may be about to change. Just a few weeks ago Google unveiled their latest technological miracle, a ‘smart contact lens’ to measure glucose levels. The contact lens uses a tiny wireless chip and a miniature glucose sensor embedded between two layers of lens material. The lens is said to be able to take a glucose level reading once per second. It is certainly still early days for this technology and it will need much more testing and development to get it ready for everyday use. The ﬁrm has conﬁrmed that they have com-
pleted several clinical research studies to aid in reﬁning the prototype. Google is working with the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to roll out the product for mainstream use as quickly as possible. This will of course involve the development of apps to make the readings accessible to the wearer and their doctor. Perhaps this will allow people with diabetes to manage their disease better in the not too distant future. It is certainly leading the wearable technology sector by setting a good example for miniaturised innovations with a real-life purpose and health beneﬁt.Various estimates have said the wearable technology sector is expected to grow by between $10bn and
$50bn (£6bn and £31bn) in the next ﬁve years. With the availability of new technologies, the consumer demand for products aimed at healthcare is also expected to grow rapidly. However, as a person suffering from diabetes, monitoring your body’s glucose levels is only half the story. To control the body’s glucose levels requires frequent, self-administered insulin injections. In a joint effort between the University of Bath Department of Pharmacy and Pharmacology and the Harvard Medical School, researchers have developed an alternative to daily injections for type 2 diabetics. They propose taking the naturally occurring hormone glucagon-like peptide-1, which in-
creases the production of insulin, in the form of a daily pill. By chemically combining GLP-1 with a speciﬁc native lipid, it is able to cross through the surface of intestinal cells to enter the body as though it had been injected. While it will likely take years for this pill to reach the market, it is a promising alternative for diabetics. So, while an increasing number of people worldwide are affected by diabetes, new technologies and treatments are becoming available. Although it remains incurable, it is a manageable disease with exciting future developments promising even better control and treatment. Take care of yourself people!
ear Professor Science,
Monday 10th February 2014
Monday 10th February 2014
Week 2014 Pedro Gomes bathimpact Photograpy Editor
emester two is here! Here we are ready for another round and how great was Refresh Week? Not that special really, as always. Calling it Refresh Week in order to bring back memories of our Freshers’ Week, creating that sweet expectation of an exciting week that ultimately fails to deliver. The great thing about Refresh Week, apart from feeling - get this - ‘refreshed’ after ISB, is all the Lidl freebies, a ﬁendishly talented Pacman player and, for those who stayed, a campus that no longer looks like a post-apocalyptic desert, devoid of life. The Students’ Union also feels vibrant again, thanks partly to the invasion of pole dancers and vintage clothing merchants.
Photography by Pedro Gomes
Monday 10th February 2014
The future of personalised medicine? New stem cell research finds alternative production method.
within the adult human have only one role, and that role is ﬁxed. We can already obtain stem cells for medical research, and stem cell therapy is not a novel concept; it has been used for some time to repair organs and tissues by replacing or repairing damaged cells. Successful cases have included the treatment of macular degeneration, which causes loss of sight. Isolation of embryonic stem cells from the umbilical cord is the oldest method of harvesting, but this is costly. Cloning has provided us with the ability to create embryos and extract stem cells, but this process is subject to furious ethical debates. Recently, Nobel Prize winning research created stem cells from patient skin cells using genetic engineering, a technique known as ‘induced pluripotency’. However, this method is time consuming and some believe that the genetic engineering has the capacity to cause tumour formation in patients. The recent technique, termed STAP for ‘stimulus-triggered acquisition of pluripotency’, is so incredible because it is so simple. Acid shocking the cells into a stem cell state is not ethically challenged,
costly or time consuming and it does not involve genetic engineering. It provides us with a quick and easy method of making stem cells. It is important to clarify that STAP has only been carried out in mice. That said, Dr. Haruko Obokata, the leading researcher at the Riken Lab in Japan, explained that her team had in fact grown
many mice where the STAP cells had been incorporated into the embryos. She also said the team had been monitoring the mice’s development over the past two years and that, so far, “they all appeared healthy, fertile and normal.” This means that, theoretically, if the research can be repeated in human tissue, a sample of a patient’s
Katherine Moynihan bathimpact Contributor esearch published in Nature by Japanese scientists on the 29th of last month, has found that adult cells can be transformed back into the embryonic state through treatment with acid. It has consequently sparked a media storm, heralded as ‘a major scientiﬁc discovery’. Testing showed that cells isolated from mice could be reprogrammed back into embryonic stem cells, simply by treating them with an acidic solution of pH5.5 for 30 minutes. It works by interfering with the regulatory mechanisms of genes that control cell state. Professor Austin Smith of Cambridge University commented that the incredible part of the discovery was that “instead of triggering cell death or tumour growth as might be expected [with this kind of environmental stress], a new cell state emerges”. This new state is one that replicates the state of a stem cell. Stem cells are those that can adopt multiple ‘cell fates’ and are known as pluripotent: they can develop into most of the cell types that we ﬁnd within the human body. On the other hand, most cells that exist
blood can be taken, treated and turned into stem cells. Professor Chris Mason, Chair of Regenerative Medicine at UCL, claimed that if it also works in humans, “the age of personalised medicine will have ﬁnally arrived”, meaning that we can begin to tailor treatments to a patient’s needs using their own cells. This could include tissue repair, as well as the growth of skin grafts and whole new organs, alleviating the need for a donor register. Professor Robin Lovell-Badge of the Medical Research Council stated that the research is “remarkable” but that “it is going to be a long time before the nature of these cells is understood.” This implies that it will also be a long time before treatment using them is commercially available. Scientists will also be working for a while to discover why the same thing doesn’t happen when you eat an orange or drink a pint of Coke. It therefore appears that an immediate solution to the downfalls of stem cell therapy has not been provided. Rather, this groundbreaking ﬁnding has painted a whole new horizon for stem cell research, taking us much closer to the era of personalised medicine.
The Polar Vortex: The Planet’s Bite Back? How extreme weather this winter left the US frozen in their tracks. Charlotte Keen bathimpact Contributor
Since this varies throughout the year, so too do the storms. If you picture the storms from above, they are fairly circular when the polar/equatorial temperature difference is relatively large, as it is in the summer. The outer jet streams of air are stronger and effectively hold the storm in place in its more circular motion. But as the temperature difference decreases, such as in the winter, the jet streams weaken, bringing pockets of vortex air-streams closer to us. Viewed
NOAA/NASA GOES Project
his winter’s big freeze has popularised the term ‘polar vortex’ and left many people asking “how can global warming be occurring when it is getting so cold?” So what exactly is a polar vortex? Well polar vortices are nothing new. They are essentially just huge storms that sit over each of the Earth’s poles. They are made up of a large mass of swirling, low-pres-
sure air with an extremely cold core. Their position and shape are constantly morphing and shifting. Parts of the storm stay fairly close to the poles, but other parts venture out further towards the equator. Wherever the polar vortex goes, things get pretty cold, pretty quickly. The extent to which the storms venture out towards us non-Arctic dwellers is dependent upon a key temperature difference: the temperature difference between the freezing poles and the warmer equatorial regions.
The polar vortex advancing across the United States, as seen from space, 6th January 2014.
from above, these storms look less circular and more like a paint-splat, rolling over the pole. This winter, the arctic vortex has been dipping down over the east of the US and Canada, bringing down the freezing arctic air and leaving shivering chaos in its wake. With temperatures as low as -37C, closer to -50C with wind-chill, you can begin to see what all the fuss is about. Spectacular images were released in January of Niagara Falls frozen over and, in a bout of polar irony, things got so cold in Chicago zoo that they had to bring the polar bears indoors. So what about global warming? Surely all this cold weather means it’s not happening? Unfortunately not. Actually, the Arctic is warming at twice the global average rate. It has lost fourteen per cent of its sea ice over the past 40 years. As the Arctic loses ice, it loses part of its cooling mechanism, since it loses its shiny-white surfaces which reﬂect the sun’s heat. It’s a vicious cycle: an increase in temperature causes ice to melt, which causes a further increase in temperature. Meteorologists believe that this is causing the instability in the Arctic polar vortex. The above-average temperatures around the Arctic are reducing the pole/equatorial temperature difference. This destabilises the Arctic vortex, causing the dipping motion that brought the chilling belowaverage temperatures to northern America. If the temperature in the Arctic
continues to increase, which is looking pretty likely, it could mean more persistent, powerful chills forcing their way further down in the northern hemisphere. This is one of the reasons why climate change is the preferred term for global warming these days. ‘Global warming’ refers to an increase in global average temperatures. Locally, however, it’s not as simple as life getting a little warmer for us. It would be nice to think that Britain could turn into a regular little Costa del Sol, but the reality looks a little more like freezing storms, torrential downpours, crazy ﬂoods, reduced clean water and threatened biodiversity. A lot less fun. More and more evidence points to climate change being a consequence of human action. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the IPCC, say they are now 95 per cent sure the global temperature increase of the last 60 years is man-made. Although a single weather event such as the US big freeze cannot prove nor disprove global warming, we can conﬁdently say that global warming increases the likelihood of events such as the meandering Arctic vortex. The big freeze has been very disruptive, but there may be a silver lining if it serves as a wakeup call, which furthers the emissions and energy debate. For one thing is for sure; as we continue to pump CO2 into the atmosphere, the planet will start biting back.
Severe weather warning: take shelter in the nearest student media office.
Monday 10th February 2014
Catch-22 for Ukraine protestors L
Ukraine’s ultra-right factions, has recently risen to prominence in the protest’s narrative. With a stance that welcomes ‘prolonged guerilla warfare’ should President Yanukovych not resign, they are a primary cause of the increased violence of late and portend a bloody future for Ukraine. By muddying the ‘moral’ waters with Molotov cocktails and catapults, Pravy Sektor serve as an illustration of how a lack of leadership can lead to the emergence of a minority that both besmirches the respectability of a cause and breaks the hearts and minds of supporters.
ence cast by the giants of Russia and Europe. Eastern Ukraine’s strong historical links with Imperial Russia and the West’s with Austro-Hungary are a key part of the Ukrainian national narrative. The divide is by no means the defining feature of Ukrainian politics, but nevertheless exemplifies the depth and meaning that the tug of war for political influence has in Ukraine. As an energy dependent nation with a poor credit rating, Ukraine currently finds itself all the more at the mercy of this tug of war. This week in Brussels, Putin re-
peated his threat that caused the initial U-turn on the EU deal; should Ukraine lean toward Europe, Russia would have to reconsider their $15 billion bailout package and look at the price of gas that is sold to Ukraine. Russia’s instrumental role in pressuring Ukraine away from a deal with Europe is an example of realpolitik in action: something which, when employed against young developing nations, can come at a heavy cost for a country’s prospects of peace. Equally, Europe’s interference can be construed as just as ungainly in re-
gard to Ukraine’s internal affairs; something which Russia has been quick to point out. Unfortunately, the international system has a tendency to impose black and white decisions on scenarios that are too recondite for yes and no decisions, placing countries like Ukraine in a Catch 22. Perhaps Ukraine will achieve something lasting if a compromise is reached; a stronger civil society, rule of law and democracy are all on the list. That said, the ‘European’ or ‘Eurasian’ question still remains far from answered.
The opposition’s coherence may prove an important factor in the search for compromise
As a young nation with such a divided national identity, politically and linguistically, the opposition’s coherence may prove an important factor in the search for compromise that is so needed. However, Ukraine has fallen victim to its unfortunate geographical location; straddling a major fault-line of the international political system, Ukraine falls within the spheres of influ-
Adam Fazackerley bathimpact Contributor ate November 2013 saw the Ukrainian withdrawal from trade deal plans with the European Union. The subsequent pro-EU demonstrations in Ukraine received a violent police response, which eventually gave rise to the more sizeable, fervent protests we see today. The Euromaidan protests were marked by significant milestones over the last weeks, including the government’s quick repeal of antiprotest laws and the resignation of Prime Minister Azarov. Such events give the appearance that momentum is building in favour of the protestors, proffering hope that the government is buckling. However, having subsumed the original pro-EU demonstration, popularity has obscured the purpose and articulation of a coherent opposition has yet to materialise. The three opposition politicians, Luschenko, Tyanhybok and Klitschko, are all lacking in leadership. Without common goals outlining what the protests are to achieve, they will continue to look like a photo opportunity in the run up to the conceivable snap presidential elections. This lack of conviction not only leaves the protests susceptible to becoming insignificant, but also to possible hijacking by extremists. Pravy Sektor, a coalition of
Pro-European Union Ukrainian protestors demonstrating against the government in Kiev.
Oxfam condemns wealth gap Charity’s report is published ahead of World Economic Forum. Ramiye Thavabalasingam bathimpact Contributor
population have increased by 60 per cent. In the United States, the top one per cent contribute towards 20 per cent of the national income - a figure which has doubled since 1980. Such statistics have led to Oxfam’s new proposal to end extreme wealth by 2025. “In a world where even basic resources such as land and water are increasingly scarce, we cannot afford
he $240 billion combined wealth of the world’s top 100 billionaires in 2012 is enough to end world poverty four times over, according to a new report published by Oxfam International. These figures were released ahead of the World Economic Forum at Davos in January to highlight the continuing
growth of the gap between the rich and the poor, with Oxfam hoping for inequality levels to return to those of the 1990s. The organisation’s report commented on the progress in the reduction of extreme poverty, but emphasises that it is no longer enough to focus on just this end of the wealth gap. In the last 20 years, the incomes of the top one per cent of the world
Kevin O’Leary believes the disparity between extreme wealth and extreme poverty is to be celebrated
to concentrate assets in the hands of a few and leave the many to struggle over what’s left,” Jeremy Hobbs, Executive Director of Oxfam International, has said. However, Canadian businessman and television personality Kevin O’Leary has labelled the statistics published in this report as ‘fantastic news’, arguing that “if you work hard, you might be stinking rich one day.” If competition is an essential part of capitalist society, some may argue that it is only natural for such systems to produce both winners and losers. Therefore capitalists such as O’Leary would argue that the world should welcome this widening gap between the rich and the poor with open arms, as social hierarchy lies at the heart of capitalist society. As O’Leary said, “what could be wrong with that? I celebrate capitalism.” Hobbs, in contrast, argues that the growing wealth of the rich will not help reduce world poverty. “We can no longer pretend the creation of wealth for a few will inevitably benefit the many - too often the reverse is true,” the Executive Director said. The international organisation believes that is not too late to reverse these growing levels of inequality. As Oxfam’s report points out, the actions taken by President Roosevelt during
the Great Depression were enough to reduce the wealth gap substantially, with both the first and second New Deal significantly redistributing the wealth in the United States. Considering the top one per cent of the country’s share of the national income peaked at 23.9 per cent in 1928 (prior to Roosevelt’s reforms), there is still hope that the current extreme wealth levels can be reversed. The report has outlined proposals to increase the access to free public services and quality education across the globe, and to introduce greater regulation and taxation. An example of this would be the introduction of a globally agreed minimum rate of corporation tax. Yet sceptics like O’Leary argue that such a reversal is unlikely. “Don’t tell me that you want to redistribute wealth again, that’s never gonna happen,” the Canadian said to his colleague on a recent episode the Lang and O’Leary Show. It is questionable whether the world’s leaders will be able to - or perhaps more appropriately, be willing to - reduce inequality, particularly by reducing extreme wealth as Oxfam has suggested. World leaders have yet to propose any reforms as progressive as that of the New Deal in the 1930s. It is, however, clear that action must be taken to end the continuously growing gap between the rich and the poor.
Monday 10th February 2014
Ιτ ολ σάουντς λάικ γρκίκ του μι
ώρα είναι δέκα το πρωί και τα μάτια μου αρνούνται να ανοίξουν. Ακούω πνιχτούς ήχους από το διάδρομο. Κόσμος συζητάει; Αναρωτιέμαι τι κάνουν ξύπνιοι τόσο νωρίς. Είμαι κουρασμένη και λίγο εκνευρισμένη. Ξαναπέφτω για ύπνο. Η κύρια δυσκολία κατά την προσπάθειά μου να εγκατασταθώ στην Αγγλία είναι να προσαρμόσω το ωράριό μου. Δώδεκα η ώρα είναι μεσημέρι, τέσσερεις απόγευμα, εφτά βραδάκι και εννέα νύχτα. Είναι σαν όλα να έρχονται λίγο νωρίτερα. Το σώμα και το κεφάλι μου, όμως, δεν είναι έτοιμα να το αποδεχτούν αυτό. Μήνες τώρα. Επειδή ξυπνάω το “μεσημέρι”, η ώρα του φαγητού έρχεται ακόμα αργότερα. Έχει πάει πέντε όταν επί τέλους αποφασίζω να πάω στην κουζίνα για να φτιάξω μεσημεριανό - ή βραδινό; Στο δρόμο, μια σκέψη περνά από το μυαλό μου. Σουβλάκι. Επιθυμώ αυτό το υπέροχο παραδοσιακό ελληνικό φαγητό. Κρέας, τομάτα, πατάτες και τόσα άλλα υλικά τυλιγμένα επιδέξια σε πίτα. Είναι ένα όνειρο, και μυρίζει πατρίδα. Ω σουβλάκι, μου έχεις λείψει τόσο. Αλλά ζητάω πολλά. Αυγά και μπέικον, λοιπόν. Καθώς πλένω τα πιάτα, απορώντας πώς και δεν με έχει πάρει η μητέρα μου ακόμα, χτυπά το τηλέφωνο. Ευτυχώς, είναι οι φίλοι μου, και, απ’ ό, τι φαίνεται σήμερα έχει έξοδο σε κλαμπ. Το ποτό ξεκινά στις εφτά, γνωστό ως “Πρι-ντρινκς”.
Εφτά ακούγεται λίγο νωρίς, παλιά το ποτό ξεκινούσε στις έντεκα, αλλά μέσα. Φοράω το κοντομάνικό μου, το πουλόβερ μου, τη ζακέτα μου, την χοντρή ζακέτα μου και το παλτό μου και βγαίνω από το σπίτι. Κάνει κρύο και έχει υγρασία. Θα ορκιζόμουν πως δεν έχω χρησιμοποιήσει την ομπρέλα μου περισσότερο στη ζωή μου. Περιμένω στη στάση, αλλά όχι για πολύ. Το λεωφορείο έρχεται στην ώρα του. Αυτό είναι οργάνωση. Την ώρα που αγοράζω εισιτήριο από τον οδηγό, μου φαίνεται σχεδόν αστείο το πόσο διαφορετικά είναι εδώ τα πράγματα. Στην Ελλάδα, κανείς δεν ελέγχει με τέτοιο τρόπο αν έχεις εισιτήριο, οπότε κανείς δεν κάνει τον κόπο. Κατεβαίνοντας, ευχαριστώ τον οδηγό. Περίεργη αίσθηση, αλλά ταυτόχρονα ευχάριστη. Φέρνω στο μυαλό μου την ελληνική ταμπέλα “Μην μιλάτε στον οδηγό”. Διασχίζοντας τον δρόμο, βλέπω ένα ταξί να πλησιάζει. Πισωπατώ φοβισμένη, αλλά ο ταξιτζής με αφήνει να περάσω. Φυσικά! Εδώ δεν υπάρχουν ταξιτζήδες αποφασισμένοι να σε σκοτώσουν. Στην Ελλάδα, όμως, έχω συναντήσει αρκετούς. Χαμογελώ θυμούμενη τον, κάπως διαταραγμένο, ταξιτζή που παραλίγο να ρίξει το αμάξι σε ένα γκρεμό, νιαουρίζοντας κάθε τόσο. Όμορφες αναμνήσεις. Μου αρέσουν τα “Πρι-ντρινκς”. Μου αρέσουν πολύ. Γιατί δεν τα έχουμε πίσω σπίτι; Κατά την διάρκεια των παιχνιδιών, ωστόσο, ο κόσμος σοκάρεται από το πόσο ανοιχτή, ειλικρινής και…
μεγαλόφωνη είμαι. Αλλά σε λίγες ώρες αυτοί πιθανότατα θα κάνουν εμετό και αύριο δεν θα θυμούνται τίποτα. Ίσως να μην χρειάζομαι πολύ ποτό για να μεθύσω, μα απώλεια μνήμης; Ποτέ. Φτάνοντας στο κλαμπ περιμένουμε στην ουρά, και είναι μεγάλη. Αυτό έχει συμβεί και στην Ελλάδα. Να σου ζητήσουν ταυτότητα για να βεβαιωθούν ότι είσαι δεκαοχτώ πριν καν μπεις μέσα; Όχι τόσο. Μπορούσα να αγοράσω ποτό χωρίς ταυτότητα από τα δεκαπέντε μου. Σύντομα μπαίνουμε μέσα. Η μουσική καλή και το μέρος γεμάτο. Κόσμος χορεύει με την ψυχή του και είναι
er. My body and head though, are quite unwilling to accept that yet, even after a few months. As I wake up at noon, lunch time arrives even later. It is five in the afternoon when I finally decide to go to the kitchen and make lunch - or dinner? On my way there a thought crosses my mind. Souvlaki. I feel a yearning for that lovely traditional Greek food. Meat, tomato, chips, and so many other ingredients skilfully wrapped in pitta bread. It is a dream, and it smells like home.
Oh, souvlaki, I’ve missed you so. But I’m asking for too much. Fried eggs and bacon it is. While I am washing up and wondering why my mother hasn’t called yet, the phone rings. Luckily, it’s my friends, and it looks like it’s clubbing night. Predrinks start at seven. Seven does seem a bit too early, as I am generally used to drinking that starts at eleven, but I’m up for it either way. I wear my t-shirt, my cardigan, my jacket, my warmer jacket, and my coat and I leave the house. It is cold. And wet. I swear I haven’t used an umbrella so much in all my life. I wait at the bus stop, but not too long. The bus arrives on schedule. These guys are organised. As I pay money to buy a ticket from the bus driver, I am almost amused by how different it is here. Back home, no one actually checks if you have bought a ticket, so you don’t bother. When I get off the bus, I thank the driver. It feels bizarre, but really nice at the same time. I picture the sign “Don’t talk to the driver” in Greece. Crossing the road, I see a taxi approaching. I take a fearful step back, but the driver waves me
μόνο έντεκα. Γιατί όχι; Τρέχω στην τουαλέτα, το παθαίνω αυτό με τον μηλίτη. Δεν καταλαβαίνω γιατί δεν είναι πιο δημοφιλής, είναι νόστιμος. Οι τουαλέτες είναι αρκετά καθαρές, ειδικά σε σχέση με την Ελλάδα, και έχουν όλες χαρτί υγείας. Το αγαπημένο μου, όμως, είναι η μικρή κρεμάστρα στην πόρτα της τουαλέτας για να κρεμάς το παλτό και την τσάντα σου, πρέπει να μαθευτεί και πίσω σπίτι. Βγαίνω με ένα σεβασμό για την αγγλική τουαλέτα και συνεχίσω το χορό και το ποτό για λίγες ώρες. Είναι μόνο δύο, αλλά το κλαμπ θα κλείσει σύντομα. Όπως πάντα, παραείναι νωρίς. Αν η έξοδος δεν κρατήσει
μέχρι τις έξι το πρωί, δεν είναι πετυχημένη. Φεύγω με μία μικρή δυσαρέσκεια. Αργότερα, όταν είμαι πίσω στο δωμάτιό μου, ξαπλωμένη στο κρεβάτι μου και ακόμα αρκετά ζαλισμένη, σκέφτομαι: ίσως υπάρχουν επιφανειακές διαφορές μεταξύ των δύο κουλτουρών, αλλά υπάρχουν και βασικές ομοιότητες. Μας αρέσει να διασκεδάζουμε, να βγαίνουμε, να ζούμε στο έπακρο. Μας αρέσει το καλό φαί, η καλή παρέα, η δυνατή μουσική. Στην τελική, αυτό που μετράει είναι οι εμπειρίες και είμαι ευγνώμων που έχω διπλάσιες - της Ελλάδας και της Αγγλίας.
Φαίδρα Φλώρου bathimpact Συνεισφέρουσα
It all sounds like Greek to me The culture shock for a Greek living and studying in England. Phaedra Florou bathimpact Contributor
t’s ten in the morning and my eyes refuse to open. I hear a vague noise from the hallway. Are people talking? I wonder what they are doing up so early. I am tired, and a little bit annoyed. I go back to sleep. My main difficulty while trying to settle in England is adjusting my time schedule. Twelve is noon, four is afternoon, seven is evening, and nine is night. It seems like everything is a little bit earli-
Toilet roll dispensers are often understocked in the Greek cubicle.
past. Of course! There are no taxi drivers here whose sole purpose is to kill you. But in Greece, I’ve encountered quite a few. A smile spreads across my face as I remember the somewhat deranged taxi driver who almost drove me off a cliff while mewing like a cat. Good times. Pre-drinks are fun. I love them so much. Why don’t we have them back in Greece? During the games, though, people are shocked by my openness, honesty, and… loudness. After a few hours though, they are probably going to be throwing up in the toilet and tomorrow they are not going to remember a thing. I admit that I am a lightweight, but memory loss? Never. When we arrive at the club we have to wait in line, and it’s a big one. That could happen in Greece. Being ID’ed and confirming you’re eighteen before you even enter? Not so much. I have been served alcohol without being questioned since I was fifteen. I am presently led inside. The music is great, and the place is packed. People are dancing like there’s no tomorrow and it’s only eleven. Oh well. I run to the toilet, cider does that to me. I don’t get
why we don’t have it back home though, it’s very tasty. The toilets are pretty clean, compared to the ones in Greece at least, with a full supply of toilet paper. What always gets to me is that awesome hanger on the toilet door, where you can hang your coat and bag; this invention should be more popular. I exit with a feeling of respect for the English toilet, and continue dancing and drinking for a couple of hours. It’s only two o’clock, though, and yet the club will nevertheless close soon. As always, it’s still too early. If a night out does not last until six in the morning in Greece, then it’s not a good night. I leave with a feeling of slight dissatisfaction. Eventually, when I’m in my room, lying on my bed, still buzzing ever so slightly, I think: there might be superficial differences between these cultures, but there are also fundamental similarities. We all like to have fun, go out, enjoy life, make the most of it. We like good food, good company, loud music. In the end, really, it’s all about experiences, and I am quite grateful I have double - the Greek and the English one.
Monday 10th February 2014
Spotlight: how to make a SPLAT
Coming up Ever wanted to indulge your creative side on campus? this fortnight
from Julian House for FREE. There will be a range of prizes including one for the best decorated cardboard shelter (art supplies provided), the most creative shelter and the person who raises the most sponsorship money. It is FREE to participate and requires only a minimum sponsorship amount of £20.14. A £10 deposit is required but will be reimbursed once your total sponsorship has been received. Grab your beanie, a coat and a sleeping bag, and GET INVOLVED! More details to follow, so watch this space... Take part in the first ever RAG Week Mega Abseil to raise money for cancer research! On Wednesday 26th February, you could take part in this exceptional opportunity to step back out over the towering 200ft descent of the Avon Gorge! This will be a challenge to remember, and to be proud of, raising money for the Smartypants campaign. Sponsorship helps fund some of the world’s smartest cancer researchers, including our very own Professor Threadgill here at Bath University. So go on, get your pants on and get fundraising! Participants are asked to pay the £20 registration fee and we ask for a minimum fundraising target of £75. Those smarty pants who raise more than £150 will get their registration fee reimbursed. Finally watch out for a RAG Week surprise on Friday 28th February featuring the SU Officers!
Last semester we arranged a life drawing session (that means drawing naked people)
on Tuesday evenings; they are a very relaxed affair, but also a very good way of improving your sketching skills. We also have socials, our favourites being the Pub Drawl (or Scrawl) where we take our sketch pads out with us as we sample the varied delights of Bath’s pubs, and Pictionary in the pub, which is pretty much what it says on the tin. Coming up this term we have more life drawing, making a Chinese dragon, going Banksy spotting in Bristol and much more. In the words of the late Bob Ross, ‘Everyday is a good day when you paint.’
From Pol to Pole Hollie Christian-Brookes bathimpact Contributor On 26th January, 28 members of the Politics society put on their blue suede shoes and boarded EasyJet flight 6275 to Krakow. Their purpose: see sights, absorb culture and enjoy nightlife. After a little turbulence and much sleeping, the expedition emerged from the plane to temperatures of -10; the gale force winds that have swept campus over the past weeks seemed tropical in comparison. After arriving at the hostel, we explored the city centre; by which I mean we immediately went inside to thaw out with a hot drink. Krakow really was a beautiful city to explore; I think what struck me the most was the historical influence that was so resonant across the city. Clearly shaped by the events of the Second World War, each area of Krakow had its own story to tell, most notably the Jewish quarter which was a humble reminder of the atrocities that took
place. On a chirpier note, Polish cuisine was a diverse mixture of carbs and... carbs. In spite of this, the hearty meals were delicious and helped to fight off the cold. As a group we would often follow our evening meals with a social outing which, on several occasions, led us to the self-proclaimed ‘Deepest Pub in the City’; a place where, as politics students, we often pondered philosophical thoughts such as “Why is the society mascot an owl?” After five days of such activities along with a trip to Auschwitz, which I won’t dwell on in order to spare you the sadness, it was time to return. What did we learn from the trip, I hear you ask? Well we now know that Polish bus inspectors are a lot more ruthless than those in Britain and that, when ordering a side order of potatoes, it is necessary to share. Our excursion of enlightenment and intrigue was a roaring success in which no disasters occurred (until we landed at Bristol airport and left a second year there, but we can gloss over that). Bring on 2015.
Kathy Regan bathimpact Contributor RAG WEEK 2014! One of the biggest events of the university will be held from the 24th of February to the 28th of February. With events planned for every day of the week, this is your chance to give back. Sign up, get involved, donate and have fun. This isn’t fundraising… It’s (fun)draising. This year RAG Week will be raising money for our Big Four charities (Bath Mind, Julian House, Sense and Teenage Cancer Trust). There are loads of events to choose from and every single penny of profit goes straight to charity! Take Me Out is back! This university version of the popular panel dating show is set to be bigger and better than ever. We’ll be bringing you 6 new contestants who will be battling for the attention of our lovely panel. Let the Pina see the Colada, as they say. Set to take place on Thursday 27th February at 19:30 in the Chancellor’s Building. Keep your eyes peeled for tickets! Sleep Out is Bath RAG’s annual event will be taking place on Tuesday 25th February during RAG week, to raise money and awareness for Julian House, a charity that helps homeless men and women of Bath. We will be spending the night out on parade under the stars with just warm clothes and cardboard shelters for warmth! Evening entertainment will be provided by BUSU societies Gravity Vomit. Pizza is provided by Domino’s and soup
shops at the weekend, often on a Sunday afternoon, and in addition run a weekly drawing session
Thursday 13th February A group of Bath students are setting up a Human Rights brigade to Panama and are holding a free information session at the University. Location: Chancellor’s Building Time: 17:15
Thursday 13th February LGBT will be running a panel session about the experiences of lesbians in different social environments, such as nightclubs and bars. Location: Chancellor’s Building Time: 17:15
Saturday 15th February Bath SU are organising a Discover trip to the Doctor Who Experience in Cardiff. Tickets are £25 from the Finance Office in the Students’ Union. Location: East Car Park Time: 09:30
Monday 17th February LGBT Awareness Week starts today! Events such as LGBT cafe, film screenings and guest speakers will be happening throughout the week Location: Campus Time: see BathStudent.com
Thursday 20th - Saturday 22nd February Bath University Student Musical Society are staging a performance of ‘Anything Goes!’ which tells the story of The S.S. American, sailing from New York to England, carries an unusual group of passengers. Included amongst them are a gangster, a wealthy debutante and her mother, a nightclub singer, and a wealthy New York businessman and his stowaway assistant... Tickets: http://bit.ly/1gQQSsF Time: 19:00-22:00
Saturday 22nd February Gravity Vomit will be holding their annual Upchuck event in the Founders’ Hall, followed by a performance in University Hall at 19:30. Tickets are £4 for each event, or £7 for both combined. Politics society
SPLAT get messy outside Parade Bar during Freshers’ Week painting large canvas and paintCarey Metheringham bathimpact Contributor ing faces during Freshers’ Week, hile most of you will or just wandering around campus have heard of the vari- and town drawing stuff. ous performing arts soYou don’t have to be good at cieties, you may not know about art to join, you just have to enjoy SPLAT. We are Bath’s visual art it - well you don’t have to enjoy society. Visual arts? To put things it, but if you don’t that does realsimply we are the art society: we ly beg the question of why you’re draw, we paint, we sculpt… in fact doing it. We offer you the matewe do pretty much anything that rials and space to allow you to can be considered art as long as it explore your artistic abilities and doesn’t result in large scale disas- unleash your creativity. We are ter. You may have seen us spray run by students, for students and
are always open to new ideas. If someone wants to do something then we will do everything we can to make it happen; so just because we don’t do a certain sort of art right now, doesn’t mean we can’t. Previously we have been based out of the Arts Barn. Seeing as that is now a hole in the ground we are homeless until the new arts centre is complete, but that doesn’t mean we’ve stopped doing exciting stuff. Last semester we arranged a life drawing session (that means drawing naked people), made notebooks from scratch and produced a stop motion film for the Show in a Week (check out ‘A Glamorous Life in the Roaring Twenties’ on Youtube). We also collaborated with local artists at the Holburne Museum to make a giant pig for the lantern parade at the opening of the Christmas market. We often work alongside the ICIA, who helped us to arrange some of our more ambitious projects and arranged for us to get into the Haysfield School for some of our messier workshops. We have most of our work-
Location: Founders’ Hall and University Hall Time: 19:30
Monday 10th February 2014
Don’t overlook Europe for Brazil Sam Leveridge impactsport Contributor
s the business end of the footballing calendar approaches, it would be easy to be distracted by the prospect of Brazil’s first World Cup since 1950, but this year, it is impossible to ignore some of the most open title races in years happening in Europe. Clearly, the Premiership is the most obvious. While Arsenal remain top on 55 points at the time of writing, their upcoming fixtures between now and April include battles against Bayern Munich, Liverpool, Tottenham, Manchester United, Chelsea, Everton and Manchester City. With a real lack of cover for Olivier Giroud, questions must be asked of Arsene Wenger’s reluctance to meet Julian Draxler’s asking price in the January window, especially when Arsenal’s weaker opponents in the coming weeks, such as Stoke, aren’t best known for conceding easily. However, it is not just Arsenal that are struggling for firepower, with even hotshots Manchester City drawing their first blank in 61 home games against Chelsea. City’s issues aren’t restricted to just a few weeks waiting for Sergio Aguero to recover though, as in central defence they lack the depth of other sides challenging for the title, with Kompany experiencing several injuries this season, leaving only the ageing Demichelis or Lescott to partner the inexperienced Nastasic. So what of Chelsea, the side who defeated favourites Manchester City in one of the best performances of the season? Like any Mourinho side, they remain pretty unpre-
dictable, but also have one of the tightest defences in the league, having only conceded more than once four times this season in domestic games. What’s more worrying for the Blues is that Chelsea’s strikers only average 0.3 goals per game between them, and that equates to roughly £1 million in wages per goal from a Chelsea striker. Failures to score against sides like West Ham at home will prove costly at the end of the season, when competitors like Manchester City are scoring six against them. It would appear that the rest of the chasing pack, including Christmas Number 1 side Liverpool, are drifting away, with the scousers in fourth now six points adrift of third place. Everton are just two points behind them, and Spurs are only one behind them, although even they have stretched out a lead over the forgotten champions, Manchester United. The Premiership isn’t the only league to have the most open title fight in years though, as seen in Spain, with the regulars of Barcelona and Real Madrid languishing in second and third place, three points off leaders Atletico. Without Falcao, but with a front line of David Villa and Diego Costa, Diego Simeone has led Los Colchoneros to a number of impressive victories, including a 1-0 win at the Bernabeu. They face arguably their toughest tests in the coming weeks, with Champions League ties against AC Milan and a Copa del Rey semi-final over two legs against neighbours Real. Whether they can maintain their form through such a busy period may prove crucial to any title
challenge. Elsewhere, Barcelona have struggled without Messi who has been injured, and even with him back he is yet to reach the form many have grown to expect from the Argentinean, and with Neymar also side-lined, Los Azulgranas have struggled to be as formidable as usual. Real Madrid are left struggling after repetitive draws with midtable sides, becoming something of a regular occurrence, particularly away from home. Even worse is their record against their two competitors, losing 1-0 to Atletico and 2-1 in ‘El Classico’. In Italy, the tables have turned completely over the last few years, and Juventus have restored their place as the top dog, with a nine point lead over Roma. The chasing pack is not what you would expect, with Roma proving a reformed side after several average seasons, with even Gervinho looking a star player. Rafa Benitez’s Napoli are trying to maintain their Champions League spot after a bright start to the season, mainly owing to the form of Gonzalo Higuain, but have recently faded with defeats against sides in the bottom half, and may have to switch their focus from the title to European qualification as a result. Inter Milan have recovered from some disastrous seasons since the departure of Mourinho, and find themselves in 6th, two points off of Hellas Verona in the last Europa League spot. The only comfort will be the form of neighbours AC Milan, with newly appointed Clarence Seedorf given the task of recovering their season, as they remain in 10th place, a massive 30 points off top
spot. Pep Guardiola will be pleased to see his European Champions remain undefeated in Germany, having only dropped four points from nineteen games, only conceding nine goals in the process. Bayern Munich are running away with the Bundesliga, with a 13 point lead half way through the season, it is hard to see anything stopping them. The most notable point from the Bundesliga is the collapse of Dortmund. With Gotze gone, Lewandowski going, they have dropped to third, and are closer to Monchengladbach in fifth than Bayer Leverkusen, led by ex-Liverpool centre back Sami Hyypia, in second. Unlike the German, and French leagues last season, Paris SaintGermain are facing a challenge for
the title this season in the form of free spending Monaco. UEFA’s Financial Fair Play have put a cap to their spending and Falcao’s knee injury which may even put him out of the World Cup have limited their progress, while PSG have strengthened with the signing of Yohan Cabaye and the form of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, and look likely to extend their six point lead. It has undoubtedly been one of the most unpredictable seasons in football in recent years, few people would have predicted that Atletico and Arsenal would be topping their leagues in February, and given the conditions for the World Cup that we can expect to see in June, it’s not beyond the realms of imagination to see another dark horse come out victorious.
Anthony Masters impactsport Contributor 1 teams are now unveiling their 2014 cars, in a year with one of the biggest set of technical rule changes ever. These new regulations aim for the pinnacle of motorsport to become the pinnacle of technology and innovation once again. The monumental change is the engine: the 2.4-litre naturally aspirated V8 engines – used by Formula One cars since 2006 – are replaced by 1.6-litre V6 turbo engines. The fuel limit has been lowered to 100kg, and engines must not consume more than 100kg of fuel per hour. Fuel consumption will be reduced, since the Energy Recovery System (ERS) combines the established KERS (Kinetic Energy Recovery System) and a second electric motor fitted to the turbo. This new system may be initially unreliable; Red Bull principal Christian Horner expects race failures of about 50 per cent. The second seismic change is to the car’s nose, which has been lowered by 415mm to a mere 135mm above the car’s floor. The new nose regulations are motivated by safety concerns, so the car’s nose would
be less likely to hit a driver in the event of T-boning incidents. Dimensional requirements on the nose will potentially produce cars with ‘anteater’ noses, compared to the ‘platypus’ noses seen last year. Whilst Williams and McLaren have adopted such an ‘anteater’ design, the Ferrari F14T has a long, slender and dipping nose. The Lotus E22’s design features a nose resembling an asymmetric tuning fork. Functionality overrides form. The new technical regulations also demand a narrow front wing, gearboxes with eight forward gears and fixed ratios, a single exhaust, a higher minimum weight for the car and driver together, and wider sidepods. Due to on-going issues within the sports’ hierarchy and decisionmaking processes, a number of new racing regulations were rubberstamped into existence. In 2014, the final race in Abu Dhabi will deliver double points. It has been nearuniversally unpopular with fans, drivers and managers. This change has been described by Sky Sports commentator and former F1 driver Martin Brundle as “an answer to a question no-one was asking”. The principle of a global cost cap has been adopted; drivers will now use
permanent numbers throughout their careers; and there will be fivesecond penalties for minor infringements. There have been significant movements within F1’s driver market. Only Mercedes and Marussia have fully retained their 2013 lineups. Mark Webber’s move to the FIA World Endurance Championship prompted the promotion of fellow Australian Daniel Ricciardo, from Toro Rosso to Red Bull. Ricciardo’s replacement at the Italian team is reigning GP3 champion 19-yearold Daniil Kyvat. Former Lotus ace Kimi Raikkonen has reverted to Ferrari, whilst Felipe Massa shifted to Williams, and Williams’s last
race-winner Pastor Maldonado now accompanies Romain Grosjean at Lotus. The pairing of two World Champions at Maranello promises to be explosive. Kevin Magnussen, son of former F1 driver Jan Magnussen, has propelled through the McLaren Formula One Driver programme take its highest seat. This decision originally left Sergio Perez without a drive, but Perez has been accepted by Force India. Popular Scot Paul di Resta secured a place in the German touring cars series DTM with Mercedes, and will not race in F1 this year. Despite his clear talents, Nico Hulkenberg was unable to secure a place outside the midfield teams, swapped
his Sauber seat with Adrian Sutil, and returned to Force India. It is all change at Caterham, where team principal Tony Fernandes has said: “This is it – the final chance.” Kamui Kobayashi spent a year in the FIA World Endurance Championship, but comes back to F1 with Caterham. Kobayashi is joined by Marcus Ericsson, who placed his DAMS in 6th place in the 2013 GP2 series. The sport is entering a brave new world, focussed on delivering fantastic energy-harvesting technologies, which will have a great impact on cars around the globe. This year should have fast, wild and unpredictable racing. I can’t wait for the lights to go out in Melbourne.
Dramatic changes in the F1 setup
The Ferarri F14T has a much different design than previous models, following new regulations
Monday 10th February 2014
Michael Powell impactsport Contributor
ince BskyB launched ‘The Sports Channel’ in 1991, the company has become the dominant sports broadcaster in the UK with many hours of live sport every week. The original channel has expanded to become six separate options, now known as ‘Sky Sports’ with an incredible range of sports from football to darts, boxing and speedway. It is, however, its domination on football coverage, the UK’s national and most popular sport, which has been the springboard to the company’s incredible success. The company has shown live Premier League games every year since the competition’s inauguration in 1992, and now shows over 100 live league games each season, in addition to Champions League, Football League, Scottish Premiership and Spanish La Liga matches. Despite their ever growing monopoly on British Sports production, Sky’s control has been tested in recent years, particularly in the money-making football industry. The ﬁrst competition arrived in 2007 when the Irish network Setanta Sports gained the right to show a selection of live Premier league matches. However, just 2 years later the company went into administration, resulting in the channels stopping their broadcast to British TV. This collapse saw the American company ESPN enter the British market by acquiring Setanta’s Premier league games. However, the company was losing money and lasted just two years longer than Setanta’s failed project had managed. When BT announced in June 2012 that they would be launching two new sports channels showing live Premier league games from the 2013-14 to 2015-16 seasons, many people expected the familiar story of a company overwhelmed by Sky and its increasing reputation. However, BT is a multinational company which has a huge ﬁnancial backing, and just 6 months since
Guppydas Mel B.
BT go BSkyB high for TV rights
The BT Sport channels were launched in August 2013 and seem to be going from strength to strength the company launched its 2 sports ball, and Sky has shown matches Sky has nearly 25 years of experichannels, attitudes have drastically since 2003, with coverage growing ence. Sky Sports still have exclusive changed. Whilst its predecessors dramatically from 2009-10. The had only been showing Premier agreement means that for the ﬁrst rights to many ATP tour tournaLeague games of limited interest - time in its history, Sky will not be ments, Formula 1 Grand Prix’s, often between one top and one low the main football broadcaster in the NFL, darts, speedway, Lions tours level team - BT has captured some UK and the revenue generated by and Heineken Cup rugby. The of the biggest games of the season, the competition dwarfs everything company has even launched its own including Liverpool v Everton and else, making it a massive coup for cycling team - Team Sky – with fantastic success following Bradley Tottenham Hotspur v Manchester BT. Following this dramatic rev- Wiggins and Chris Frome winning City at the end of last month. BT’s chiefs have also been clever in se- elation, it was widely expected that back-to-back Tour de Frances. Sky lecting the other sports they show Sky would pour their excess funds currently has 6 sports channels, by avoiding Sky strongholds such as into gaining monopoly of all other whilst BT only has 3, one of which golf, cricket, darts and F1. Instead, major sports. However, in recent shows predominantly American the company has obtained exclu- days, it has been reported that BT Sports with the channel having sive rights to Serie A, Ligue 1 and will bid for PGA Tour rights as well been bought from ESPN. ThereBundesliga football matches, Aviva as limited over cricket ﬁnals in fore, things remain positive for Sky, Premiership Rugby and from 2014 upcoming auctions, two sports in with many major live sports events will broadcast Moto GP and World which Sky has had single ownership remaining with the company. Both corporations will be deterof for many years. Rally Championship events. The belief and ambition of BT mined to succeed in an era when This appeared to be a good start in BT’s mission to depose Sky as the sport is greater than anything Sky more and more people are buying leading pay-TV sports broadcaster. has ever had to compete with, and sports packages, and the money inBT’s mission continued when it an- Sky bosses will undoubtedly be cre- volved and potential revenue connounced in November last year that ating plans to ensure they remain tinues to increase. With two maBT Sport had agreed a £897 million number one for UK viewers. Sky jor ﬁrms backing their respective deal with UEFA to show Champions will be eager to come out on top channels, it is likely to be a ﬁerce League and Europa League games of its current battle and despite rivalry and fascinating battle for exclusively from 2015 for three sea- things looking very positive for BT many years to come, ensuring there sons. The Champions League is the at present, the company is still very is plenty of interest off the pitches greatest club competition in foot- young in the sports industry whilst and courts as well as on them.
Morton’s Mumbles & Moans Over the last few months, that is, since I last wrote this column, the minimal attention that I paid to the Premier League had diminished even further, i.e. I haven’t got even a semblance of an idea what is going on in the world of football. Therefore, I’m struggling to write this column right now. This is because writing about my own thoughts on sport, which include ‘I wish I’d tried harder to get into any sport at all when I was younger, instead of just giving up,’ seems vapid and a waste of time. I, however, must fill this space in the paper, so I’ll try and find something sport related that I can say that doesn’t sound like utter horse shit. Right, here we go: I was in the airport going on a nice trip over inter-semester break, and was stuck in the airport for ages, which wasn’t so bad, as the England - France match was on the Television in the Airport’s Wetherspoons (which was pretty goddamn expensive, even ‘Spoons tries to stitch one up in an airport). When I say it wasn’t so bad, it clearly was as England lost. So, cast a rather negative shade on the trip, luckily I wasn’t going to France. Ok, well that was slightly sport related, but still not quite there yet… I started running, that’s vaguely sporty (but not at all interesting, I wonder how people who actually quite like to do columns actually manage to convince themselves that they’re important enough for the reader to care about them) I didn’t realise running was actually hard, I’m actually mostly better from my illness that I mentioned in a few issues ago (but not completely), and when running for the first time in about four years, I thought I was still being affected pretty severely by it, but then I realised it’s probably just because I’m a lazy bastard, and smoking and drinking have taken their toll on me, thus rendering me a completely awful runner. Still have about one hundred words to go, what a nightmare… Ho, hum. Well, one funny thing about editing the sport section is that I actually learn most of the pressing sports issues of the current time when I read the articles that are written for it, except obvious things like Schumacher taking a tumble and the sheer awfulness of the Russian attitudes to gay people. I have to get a train in an hour, so if this seems like it’s been a shambles and a waste of your time, that’s because that is exactly what it is. I expect this is almost enough… Until next time, then (unless the crippling boringness of reading this has extinguished your life).
Monday 10th February 2014
Peter Nagle impactsport Contributor
nce again it’s Six Nations time! Hooray I hear you shout. Weekends full of sport, sport, sport. Passions and old rivalries alive, let’s look at some of the players to watch. Billy Vunipola’s performances in this year’s Six Nations will be key to England’s performance after its painful loss against France. Although young, at the tender age of 21, Vunipola is a specimen of raw strength, and his sheer physicality makes it hard for any opposing back-row unit to stop his momentum when steaming ahead with ball in hand. His off-loading capabilities likewise will help the English backline gather continuous quick-ball,
something at which the back three will be exceptional. Naturally a giant, but also an intelligent player who reads the game well, expect Billy not just to live up to his physical frame, but his rather huge reputation, too. Wesley Fofana of France is another player who has the power and ability to ignite France’s backline. He can be remembered for his wonderful individual try at Twickenham in last year’s Six Nations. Now, a year on, he has become an even greater player. His performances in the French Top 14 and Heineken Cup campaigns show just how dangerous this player is. Dancing feet and mesmerising runs are what this inside centre prides his game on. He will no doubt be a cause for
concern for opposing nations. Playing with youth on his side, he will soon become a household name for France in the campaigns to come. Wales will expect a lot from Justin Tipuric for the rest of the tournament. After an immense Lions tour last year, accompanied by a strong showing in the Autumn Internationals, his ability at the breakdown to win turnover ball is something which Wales must look to, as every nation will be targeting Wales this year, seeing as they will be going for a historic third title in a row. Also a good runner, if Tipuric plays to his potential, it will certainly have a positive impact on Wales’ performance as a whole. Looking at Ireland, head coach Joe Schmidt has made it clear that
Eye on the ball, and these players
This 6 Nations, big things are expected of Wesley Fofana. (Left) he wants to expose the youngsters coming through to the highly intense environment that is the Six Nations. It gives the impression that this will be a development affair for Ireland, despite it being Brian O’Driscoll’s last campaign. Nonetheless, the future looks bright for Ireland and one player who catches the attention is Luke Fitzgerald. His form of late for Leinster has been sublime, and it is clear that he has rediscovered his form of old. Already a Lion and Grand Slam winner, at 26 years of age, Fitzgerald is still young in rugby terms. He is electric and extremely skillful, making him a world-class finisher. Expect him to be lethal in attack and defence and score some great tries. Ireland’s competition on the wings is highly competitive and he is setting the standards. For Scotland, young centre Matt Scott is a great find for the Scots and is a welcome addition, given
that Scotland has struggled to score tries for the past couple of seasons. They must turn this around if they are to be credible contenders. This talented player makes clean breaks and has a great passing game, something which will help Lion’s pairing of Hogg and Maitland. When we think of Italy, we only think of one player who stands out. That is, of course, Sergio Parisse. The man is a mountain and an inspiration to his country. This means that a great deal will be expected of him again this year. He has every weapon a number eight should have, and there is no doubt he will be targeting more scalps. Italy have now beaten every other Six Nations team at least once, except for England. Parisse will look to raise his game when the two countries meet in the final round of the competition set for March. Now settle in and enjoy the games!
ne of the greatest sportsmen of a generation currently resides in Grenoble University Hospital, in his fifth week of a medically induced coma. Michael Schumacher, seventime World Drivers’ Champion suffered a freak off-piste skiing accident whilst on holiday with his family, and was placed immediately in a coma to reduce the potential of internal damage to his brain. His wife and children remain at his bedside, and fans have flocked to the hospital, sending continuous messages of support. The adrenaline-fuelled lifestyle of F1 drivers can lead to the pursuit of a similar rush once their careers are over. Countless drivers have turned their hand to different forms of motorsport, such as David Coulthard in DTM, or Kimi Raikkonen in World Rallying (incidentally, Kimi also has a penchant for entering snowmobile races dressed in a gorilla suit under the pseudonym ‘James Hunt’). Indeed, Schumacher himself became a proficient rock climber and motorcyclist. It would be easy, then, to place this tragic event in
the context of a hedonistic and danger-seeking ex-World Champion in pursuit of the rush he no longer gets from Formula One. But in reality this does the German a huge disservice. No one competitor has done more to advance the cause of safety in Formula One; he was influential in the creation of the now mandatory head and neck harness that all drivers wear. Since the device’s introduction there have been no deaths on track. Schumacher was fiercely competitive at all times, but not once in a career of some 16 years did this spill over into recklessness or a lack of control. He was as renowned for his measured and meticulously precise approach to the setup of the car as for his lightning speed. If anyone can pull through such a horrific event, though, it is Schumacher. Time and time again on circuits across the world, in a sporting career spanning three decades, the German has demonstrated an indomitable spirit, a ferocious and uncompromising will to succeed, which, coupled with his technical gifts, made for a lethal combination. One only has to think back to Spain 1996, in which he negoti-
ated a soaking race track with consummate ease and left every other driver literally trailing in his wake. Or his leading the Ferrari team to a first world title in 21 years. Or winning the championship with 6 races still to go in 2002. The list goes on and on. The past fortnight, doctors have begun to ease him out of the induced coma, and the early signs are reported to be positive. It is still far too early to determine anything significant about his condition, or any lasting damage the accident will do. The incident has been extensively covered in the media, with the tabloid press in particular leading with sensationalised stories and wild speculation, in which the ultimate fate of the greatest driver of all time appears to fluctuate on a daily basis. We would do well to steer clear of this, and stick to the facts provided by the doctors, of which there have not been many. One thing can be said with unwavering certainty though. As the 45 year-old fights his most titanic battle to date, there is no one better equipped to pull through: his entire career has been based upon a sheer unequalled force of will. We should take comfort from that.
Thomas George Brady impactsport Contributor
If anyone can pull though, it’s him
As of 6th February, Schumacher was being induced out of his coma
impactsport Monday 10th February 2014
Schumacher update, page 23
Inside Welcome back, Team Bath! impactsport
A quick word from SU Sport Ofﬁcer Tom Janicot
Everything’s been lonely over Christmas... get back out there!
pecially as this semester will see some of our best sportsmen and women compete in the BUCS individual and team championships to be crowned national champions in their chosen disciplines. Some of the best standard of university sport will be played on your campus so make sure you take this opportunity. To all athletes, you’ve had plenty of rest so now it’s time to get back to training and show the rest of the UK that ‘We Are Bath’. See you soon!
he 2014 Winter Olympics started last Thursday in Sochi with the British team hoping for their most successful winter games since 1924. UK Sport has set team GB a target of three to seven medals. A sprinkling of current and former Team Bath members will be at the games, competing in a range of events. The University is of course the home of the UK’s national governing bodies for the bobsleigh and skeleton. The build-up to this year’s Winter Olympics has, unfortunately become more about Russia’s politics than the sport which is going to be on show. Russia’s anti-gay propaganda law have rightly been reported across the media all over the world, which has led to repeated calls for a boycott. Although no boycott materialised, the absence of many world leaders from the opening ceremony is telling. It’s correct to say that boycotts of the Olympics rarely achieve much. The 1980 and 1984 boycotts of Moscow and Los Angeles respectively achieved little more than make clear how the USA and USSR didn’t like one another. It also denies athletes the opportunity to compete on the international stage due to political factors outside of their control. Last month, when Team GB announced its selections for the bobsleigh and skeleton teams, current and past Bath students were prominent. Graduates Bruce Tasker and Craig Pickering were
impactsport Contributor Sam Leveridge talks about the close competition in the European leagues and why it can’t be missed Page 21 has the full story
Formula 1’s drastic changes discussed
If you want to check out the several sports on offer, head to www.bathstudent.com/sports/ clubs and stay up to speed with everything in the sport world by finding Tom Janicot SU Sport on facebook
impactsport Contributor Anthony Masters runs through the changes in the rules and regulations of Formula 1 this season
impactsport Contributor Michael Powell talks about the new Sport channel on the block, and what it means for Sky Sport
Winter Olympics start in Sochi Tomos Evans impactsport Contributor
Brazil may be inticing, but so is European footy
Russland und Ukraine
elcome back to a new semester of SPORT! Now the Christmas break is over, our teams are all ready to get back into training schedules and blow every other team out of the water over the next few weeks. As a result of your performances last semester, the University of Bath currently sits in 3rd place in the overall BUCS ranking table. Our first teams currently top their leagues in men’s and women’s badminton, men’s fencing, women’s football, women’s futsal, netball, women’s rugby, women’s table tennis, men’s and women’s tennis, and American football. I cannot tell you how excited I am to follow every single athlete on campus as they advance to the final stages of all competition; es-
Turn to page 21 to read it all
BT Sport muscles into Sky’s territory
Turn to page 22 for more
Why columnists should watch sport impactsport Editor Connor McGregor Morton says basically nothing, in an all time low for his column page 22 has the full column
Russian gay propaganda laws have been the main point of discussion in the run up to the games picked in the men’s four-man bobsleigh, and other former students Paula Walker and Rebekah Wilson were selected for the twowoman bobsleigh. PhD student Dom Parsons has been selected to represent Team GB in the Skeleton alongside Lizzy Yarnold who is based and train in Bath. They will both accompany Shelly Rudman, another Bath graduate at the Sochi games. The University has a strong history of students both past and present making it to the Olympics both Summer and Winter. The row which has been ensuing over gay rights in Russia and the Olympics has also impacted on sponsors of the games
and Students’ Unions. Sponsors such as Coca-Cola, McDonald and P&G have come in for much criticism from campaign groups in countries with better trackrecords on gay rights. Petitions have also been created calling for these sponsors to abandon their sponsorship of the games in light of Russia’s ant-gay legislation. Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union have recently gone as far as placing a ban on Coca-Cola and P&G products being available in their Students’ Union. Communications Officer, Leanna Byrne has said that the ban “sends out a strong message” to the companies. SU President Ellie Hynes said that this will not be the case in
Bath as the SU “does not believe in banning student’s access to products that they enjoy. It is a personal decision for students, themselves over whether they buy products from an organisation which is spondoring the Winter Olympics. Bath SU wants to be able to inform the student body about homophobia and homosexuality.” “We wish all the luck to Team GB, and Team Bath athletes in their events in Sochi.” More information about the members of Team Bath who are representing Team GB in Sochi can be found at: http://www. teambath.com/sport/olympicparalympic/sochi-2014/
Six players to watch in this Six Nations impactsport Contributor Peter Nagle runs through his predictions for the players to keep an eye on this Six Nations page 23 has the full story
If you are interested in sport and want to contribute, then contact impactsport Editor Connor McGregor Morton (firstname.lastname@example.org) to find out more details about how you can get involved. We’re always looking for writers, photographers, people to take part, or just all round sports buffs to help out. So, if you have a story you want to share, don’t be afraid to get in touch!
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p3 Alex Coles explores the term ‘optignoranceism’ p6 Tom Gane talks about Tinder and more p13 Valentine’s Day special p15 Martin Freeman and K-Pop (need we say more?)
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EDITORIAL Monday 10th February 2014
Welcome. Holly Narey has just taken over from Simon ‘walks girls home like Bundy’ Rushton as Editor in Chief. She was once bite editor so it means a lot. Also, welcome to you all to a new semester; may it be full of triumphs, working hardiness and reading bite because it will change you. In some way or other.
Neknominate Lately people have been telling each other to drink things, via social media. This is cool. But, so is jumping oﬀ a building. So if you’re thinking about doing one of these challenges or nominating a friend. You could always just learn how to make diﬀerent types of pastry instead or learn to tie a bowtie. You never know when you’ll meet Nigella for the ﬁrst time and be in need.
This weeks’ theme: Optignoranceism This week bite is looking at a mixture of optimism and ignoramce. I’m not sure what that means. It doesn’t really mean anything but for some sort of explanation see my editorial and Alex’s lead article.
Christmas is happening Don’t worry the ﬂoods are almost not happening anymore or so they say but, what about all that rain? It never seems to rain in Bath despite us living in a valley. Sea level? What? Anyway. Don’t worry it’s only 10 months ‘til Christmas - that’s less time that it is until the next fake apocolypse. In the words of Valentine Rossi “H�����.”
ach time an issue of bite goes to print (fortnightly), I ﬁnd myself slightly drunk, completely mentally drained and experiencing a mixture of feelings culminating in a confused euphoria. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy my job; I enjoy it like Wombles enjoy collecting rubbish – thus rendering bin men unemployed in west London. The newspaper-making stress is perhaps comparable to the stress of being born, had my mother’s amniotic ﬂuid been 40 per cent proof – like her blood at the time. This emotional state is brought about by a multitude of challenges that come with the job of gathering, editing and ultimately producing hopefully ‘edible’ content for a demographic whose attention spans are, entertainmentwise, increasingly requiring more stimuli and in a smaller package. This phenomenon and its intricacies aren’t quite understood by those who understand it, and I haven’t read any of their literature, so let’s just assume this notion of a lethargic and attention-devoid youth is of some truth. It could be said that fast changing media and mediums of communication, especially with our peers, is the main catalyst. Gone are the days when you’d ride ‘round your mate’s house to chance a meeting; how are you supposed to attempt to sleep with you friend’s family members if he’s always in? In the past, there was an excuse. Imagine the scenario: ‘Chris walks in to ﬁnd Nathan supping tea with his rather attractive mother of a ﬁne vintage. Both looking rather ﬂustered, Chris pushes for a reason; his mum quickly interjaculates: “Oh dear, I’m having one of my turns, and well…” Nathan is sure to add, “Oh, Chris, mate. I rode ‘round to see you, and you weren’t here and your mum oﬀered me some tea [and a blow-jay].”’ Sorry. I’m disgusting. Recently I found myself reading two of Will Self’s articles with exactly the same topic, spread apart by twenty years twixt 1994 and 2014, on English culture, and what that means. I was drawn to an reﬂection on my understanding of: A. What culture is to me. and B. How this comes across in my section of this newspaper. This led me to a few diﬀerent realisations, that: A. These days I’m desperately worried that I don’t understand or in any way try and grasp what is going on around me – something which wasn’t true when I was 21 (7 years ago). and B. I have been striving to create an ‘ents’ (entertainment) magazine, that engages with all the
‘coolest’ stuﬀ going on NOW – allowing my writers to wax lyrical about it and why it is cool. Dearest readers: I have, in some way, failed. This doesn’t necessarily mean it’s bad. It seems since its creation, bite has strived to basically pander to the interests of the indie kids who are creative enough to write for the paper and have interests in such things that ‘indie’ magazines write about – to the point that I don’t know what that ACTUALLY means. So then I start to question, which is more important: pandering to the whims of self-indulgent writers who believe their reﬁned taste in ‘boho’ culture is superlative, or simply writing about what our demographic wants? Well the answer is a mixture of the two. Except that’s too fucking diﬃcult. The majority of people at this university simply ARE NOT INTERESTED. They don’t want to engage in student activism, they don’t want to engage in journalism or exploration; they want grades and money. So, this magazine is written by an insanely small demographic of creative people for likeminded bodies, if they even exist here? See the problem? I mean, you know, of course you do. You’re one of us right? If not, and you disagree, then prove me wrong; we’re always looking for more talent. The speciﬁcs of my own crisis shall be garbled in the lines below, ﬁrst I will tell you a realisation I came to which was more important. It doesn’t matter, writing for a university newspaper is as diﬃcult as eating a bowl of soup using toilet roll; as long as you make the reader think, laugh, learn, then your job is done, and honing one’s skills is what it’s all about - believe me, I’m working on it. There are much, much more important things than bite; I understand this, but sometimes this is my life. The rest of the paper provides content that’s of substance and represents the student voice (or at least it can do, in times of need): this is massively important. Back to knowing what I want to be published: the direction of the paper. How do I know what I want? Well often I don’t and this job is a constant learning curve (we are just like a student society, our committee members are elected and we’re all full time students [2:2 here I come]). The biggest problem is, over the last two years, I have been going through a mid-twenties crisis (ok, late twenties). I thought I didn’t know what was going on. I stopped being interested because I felt lost; I’d left school
before I knew what broadband was… MSN wasn’t a thing yet, people had mobile phones but they barely worked for anything more than texting or playing snake, and phone calls were too expensive (at least they were for me). I guess the ﬁrst generation of camera phones were on the up. I got this strange thing called Facebook in late 2006, when it was just kicking oﬀ in the UK. I learnt how to be a young adult in an age without social media, I felt I should. I read magazines, newspapers - I cared about shit. I had ideas about my own image, I went out and made sure I looked cool. Well, I didn’t: I looked like a cock, but that’s by the by. I didn’t care about being warm and I was part of something, I was a 19 year old. Music was important to me: new stuﬀ, old stuﬀ, Stuﬀ stuﬀ. I wanted to know. It was this job, and being surrounded by young twenty somethings that put me in this position, but I’ve now come to the conclusion that I’m just becoming set in my ways. Sigh. I’ve been ignorant. I shall probably continue to be, but the old saying really, in my case, is so VERY true. You can’t teach an ignorant twat new tricks. The point I’m slowly crawling towards is: in my generation, the step up came rather a lot more quickly and I, for some reason, didn’t adjust. I know generations before had it harder and adjusted just ﬁne, but it’s diﬀerent; it’s what was happeneing to me at the time that made it signiﬁcant; i.e. not needing to know about the net, or what was going on in that realm, I ﬁlled my time with other things. I watched music TV for my inspiration. I had just starting playing ice hockey, and that was my life. It’s all I did in my spare time; the rest was ﬁlled with music, friends, the odd book… oh, and masturbating to Last of the Summer Wine. This was a key development in me now - I didn’t realise it at the time. I’m not sure I realised it before I wrote these last few paragraphs, but it wasn’t until this stuﬀ became massively mainstream that I realised how important it was for being part of things. I had been caught behind. I’m regretful – but optimistic, because it has made me the analytical bore oﬀ that I am. Oh, and self-indulgent. To recap: I have no clue. I’m lost, but I have returned to my old way of discovery. Mixed with a bit of Spotify, reddit (thanks Will) and masturbating, to Last of the Summer Wine. Some things, my friends, never change.
Monday 10th February 2014
Optimism/ignorance a perfect combo
Each time a Scream mask was purchased a child in Africa was plunged into a world in which they were actually this mask, they were then sold on the international market Written by Alexander Iliya Coles
he theme for bite this week is ‘optignoranceism’. What is ‘optignoranceism’ I hear you ask? Well, my dear friend I can officially reveal that it is quite simply a word fabricated by my editor; at the end of an unbelievably heavy post-exam binge (but sssh, you didn’t hear that from me!). It was three in the morning, Bath had gone to sleep and he thought he was the 21st centuries answer to Shakespeare and so it was that under these conditions that the world’s newest bard-stard was created. It represents the perfect mixture of optimism and ignorance, and so in love with our own creation are we that we have decided to celebrate its inception by dedicating this whole issue to it! So, where to begin with such a topic? Well, as I imagine you’re all desperate to know I’m going to start by discussing what ‘optignoranceism’ means to me. And I’ve decided that when it comes to myself it can be easily summarised by that post exam feeling I always get. I’m sure some of you get it too. Though I should point out that this is not your bog standard “Yay, exams are over!’ feeling. This is the feeling that despite knowing how badly the last set of exams went, things will be different next time. That I’ll be so prepared I’ll be able to swagger into exams with such confidence that I’ll be like Miley Cyrus at a regional twerking competition or Michael Fassbender at a ‘World’s Greatest Penis’ competition. However the inevitable happens, and low and behold a few months down the line I once again find myself staring
at all mother of exam based shit storms. This I believe is due to my ignorance of what lies at the heart of the issue - that I’m just a lazy shit! So what does that actually mean? Well basically, I’ve conceded that I’m an ‘optignoranceismus’. Which to define this new term is ‘someone who lets optimism get the better of them’. But it’s not all bad. In fact, over the course of this article I’m going to try and convince you that this is actually a rather good thing and that you should be one too. Just like those pesky scientologists did to our dear Tom Cruise, let me manipulate your mind to make you a true ‘optignoranceismus’; so that you too can jump on couches under the mistaken impression that it’ll show people how much you love someone, rather than show you to be a complete weirdo. It’ll be worth it. I promise. Before I can do this however we need to look at optimism as a concept in its own right. At first glance optimism seems good doesn’t it? I consider myself an optimist and I’m sure you see yourself as one too. The idea of being a pessimist just makes me sad. A world where January goes on for years and in which chewing gum will forever be destined to fester underneath school tables - chewed once and then never loved again. Optimism however paints a picture of a world where spring is just around the corner and where the chewing gum will be found, re-chewed and re-loved by the fat kid of the class who knows no limits to his dignity. And doesn’t that just sound like a happier world to live in?
But is optimism simply born from ignorance? Or a lack of knowledge on what lies out there in the big bad world? Think of the guys in ‘Toy Story 2’. At the start they were all like ‘Yeah, let’s go and save Woody and save the day’ and then boom! Next thing you know they’re in Al’s Toy Barn with an old and evil prospector who farts too much. And doesn’t that just sound really, really shit? I guess shit happens and that’s a part of life we all need to come to terms with, regardless, isn’t it still better to live in hope that despite the shit, there will be good times only a moment away? I mean ‘Toy Story 2’ eventually had a happy ending right? That way rather than being constantly told we can’t go out and do that thing we’ve always wanted to do, or told we can’t tell that person we’ve always loved that we love them and that we can’t eat yellow snow because it’s bad for you; instead we could live in a world where we can do these things. A world where nothing’s impossible and a world where good times are constantly on the horizon. Yellow snow cones all round. This means that ‘optignoranceism’ could potentially have a huge impact on modern society. If we embraced it like a political revolution I honestly believe it could change the world. Call me ignorant if you wish but I’ll call myself an optimist. Yes, it could lead to a world of chaos where humanity loses all its structure. As people give up their jobs and instead finally do that thing that they always wanted do. But sweet damn, it’ll be fun while it lasts and isn’t it a good thing for people to chase their dreams? I mean
if man is born free, then I say let him be free. I see a future where people greet each other not with a handshake but with a high five. A world of smiles rather than frowns and a world of glorious sunshine in places which haven’t seen it for years. Northern Norway, Reykjavik and Milton Keynes to name just a few. There is however a flip side to ‘optignoranceism’ and that is that it can occasionally lead you to the dark side. Take our Vice Chancellor for example. She was way too optimistic about her own popularity to assume that students and staff would be happy for her to have a big fat pay rise while many can barely afford the living costs of going to her university and she was just plain ignorant if she assumed that all of us wouldn’t care. I imagine she regrets her decision now but nonetheless she will forevermore be remembered as a shining example of what can happen when you go too far in your quest to become the biggest ‘optignoranceism’. Or will it just be forgotten? Am I being the optimist? Probably. So when it comes to being an ‘optignoranceism’ don’t feel ashamed of it. Embrace it. As the Dalai Lama once said ‘Choose to be an optimist. It feels better’. And if that means you fail due to ignorance then so be it. No-one’s ever done anything by thinking nothing’s ever going to get better. You need optimism to build a better world, for yourself and for others. So be ignorant, be an optimist, give it a go. Who knows? It might be the greatest thing that ever happens to you!
Monday 10th February 2014
Alexander Ilija Coles
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One Giant Leap: student theatre written by Nick West
W Live Review: The Waterboys written by James Fletcher
olston hall may not strike you as the venue in Bristol, if you know or much care about going to see live music this is. I’d argue that, on face value you are right; but it’s the hidden aspects of the venue that I really enjoy. Each time I’ve been there, it’s been a very formal affair. The auditorium is much like that of a theatre and after all it does label itself as a concert hall. So you can’t expect to catch Rudimental or Beans on Toast (or so I assume). So, I’ll tell you all about the Waterboys gig. We arrived a little late as is customary, just in time to catch the last third of the supporting act: Freddie Stevenson. There is a certain air of mystery in the empty foyer and the bar staff frantically preparing for the interval gave us reason to make haste to interrupt them at the bar and then be ushered to our seats. The concert hall is rather huge and it was empty, but it was totally full. It just felt empty. Freddie is as poetic as lyricists come, his guitar playing is rather secondary to his dulcet tones - his music takes you on a journey. His influences are as varied as anyone with real talents but one can’t help trace his naturist influences to the folk ‘revival’ of the late 60s and early 70s; think Bert Jansch, John Martyn and Nick Drake. As everyone took their seats for the Waterboys a few verbal fights broke out in the audience between those who were concerned about people talking during the performance which was hilarious. Then some heckling got the band riled up, but it all added to the steadily building atmosphere. The Waterboys are
a mostly Celtic folk band, lots of their music verging on country. The Waterboys were pristine. Prior to the gig I’d checked out a few songs but wasn’t moved to any emotions of note; during the gig I found each note and chorus reminding me for my love of ‘folk’ music. Which Mumford and Sons (despise them though I do) have reminded us recently, is awesome, and the music of the people. The music that tells a story. Folk music not only tells a story but it’s music that you just CANNOT sit down to, it just forces you to want to dance. Not stand there tapping your foot as one does at ‘normal’ gigs. If you’ve never been to a barn dance, you should. It will make you happy(ier). This is where the problem arose, we were seated, what to do? Foot tapping became foot and hand tapping, which became rocking, swaying and even head dancing. Before long, the seat rows were rocking about all over the place, it was as if the seats themselves that were willing us to our feet. Some left their seats to dance at the front - I wanted to dance, but I didn’t. I tell you what I did do though, I went out afterwards and had an awesome night. So, lessons from this gig. Colston Hall: great for discovering good upandcomers, awsome for inspiring a wild night in Bristol and N.B., I went to see Staff Benda Bilili there a couple of years ago and the place was ELECTRIC, we started off seated and by the end almost the entire hall was on its feet. It was quite something. So go and check out the venue it has everything from comedy, to opera to new and local music.
e’ve all had that awkward moment, after a wild night with someone, when you just look into each other’s eyes the morning after. ‘Did you mean what you said last night?’ Well, that’s what happened with two University of Bath students. Liza Greenhalgh and Louise Heavey met at the after party for BUST’s Christmas pantomime – Treasure Island - at the end of 2012, made polite small talk and then went their separate ways. It wasn’t until March the next year that they properly got to know each other at yet another after party – and they started to share their opinions about everything - including theatre. Both Liza and Louise felt that ‘breaking in’ to the world of theatre was extremely difficult for new practitioners in all areas - in order to get professional experience, you need to have had professional experience. It’s a vicious cycle, and means that many young actors, technical operatives, makeup artists, set designers, choreographers – the list really goes on forever - spend more time searching for experience than they do actually getting it. There was also another snag – despite sharing a number of artistic opinions, they would never have the opportunity to work together on a show with Bath University Student Theatre. Liza would be finishing her Masters before Louise returned from placement so they’d never get the opportunity to work together on a show – and this just wouldn’t do. So, over a bottle of gingerbread rum, on the 19th of July 2013, they decided to found their own theatre company. Chatting in to the small hours of the morning, they planned and outlined and decided what they’d do. Of course we all make wild plans when we’re drunk. If I lived out every one of my inebriated fantasies I’d probably be dead, broke or imprisoned (or some mixture of the three), so it was with great trepidation that they had that awkward conversation the morning after. ‘Y-yes.’ ‘Thank god for that, I was totally serious too.’ Of course, founding a theatre company isn’t as easy as flavoured spirits would have you believe, so it’s surprising that with armed only with a name borrowed from a shoe shop and headed by two women
possessing an almost religious fervour, One Giant Leap Productions (or OGL for short) put on their first production only six months after its foundation. Written by Sebastian Lee, ‘Holmes and Watson: A Meeting of Minds’ (an adaptation that addressed a number of issues, such as coping with combat-related PTSD, and gender roles – particularly how a female Watson could actually have been a possibility in the 1880s) was performed in the Museum of Bath at Work at the end of 2013 - less than a year after Liza and Louise first met. This isn’t a review, but I’ll say this about it - it was fantastic. The script was impeccable, the acting exemplary and given the staging and budgetary constraints, it came off slickly and professionally. I wasn’t the only one impressed though, this production put on to raise money for Bath Mind, a local branch of the national mental health charity, also wowed the Mayor of Bath and the Chairman of Bath City Council - and the cast and crew have been invited to a mayoral reception at the end of February where the £500 raised will be handed over to Bath Mind. The city council is also organising a more general reception for the crew in March. So what’s next for One Giant Leap? Well, after such a successful start it’s hard to say. The aim for OGL is to give theatre practitioners from all areas of the industry the experience they need to get recognised by more professional groups. With a stack of scripts ready to be performed, and the only concern being finding the time to put them on, the world’s their oyster. Currently the main production in the works is a rerun of Sherlock: a Meeting of Minds with a slightly revised script and some technical improvements. And then? Who knows. There is certainly a ‘Shaken Shakespeare’ season on the cards, with ‘Hamlet’ and ‘Macbeth’ having been confirmed as the first two productions of that run. Neither Louise nor Liza knows where they will be in two years’ time - but OGL will continue regardless. And in the mean time they can do what they do best; put on fantastic professional productions. Keep an eye on them, ‘cos whatever they do next it’s gonna be good.
Monday 10th February 2014
Public Domain CC0 OsamaK
Little Comets, Komedia, Tuesday 18th February
Jasper Blakely, Smoke and Mirrors, Bristol, Saturday 15th February
In A 2014 Space Oddity: The Chuckle Brothers, Bristol Hippodrome, Sunday 16th February
Little Comets bring their brand of Indie rock from the North of England down to Bath. Think jaunting guitar lines, bright melodies over introspective pedagogic lyrics and a general desire to dance along. Famous for their debut single “One Night In October” and currently touring in defence of their critically acclaimed second album, Life is Elsewhere, this is not to be missed (especially if you have well-kept hair and want your friends to think you’re cool).
Jasper Blakeley is an international award-winning close up magician and cabaret magician and one of the UK’s most versatile and exciting magical performers. He often performs as his award-winning alter ego, comedian and magician Kockov who wears a funny hat and honestly that’s the only reason why we decided to pick him over the other non-hat wearing comedians.
This is the description of the show: Paul and Barry visit a toy shop to buy water pistols and they notice a toy space ship which they get in. The shopkeeper shouts out do not touch that button! Being The Chuckle Brothers they cannot resist it and press the button and accidentally go in to space on a new adventure! I assume you’ve already stopped reading this and are now buying tickets, if not then do it now. DO IT NOW. GET SOME. ACID TO DROP DURING THE SHOW AND GO AND SEE THE CHUCKLE BROTHERS.
Matt Pryor & Allison Weiss, The Fleece, Friday 21st February
Bath Bachfest, Thursday 20th Feb – Saturday 22nd February
Limp Bizkit, O2 Academy Bristol, Wednesday 12th February
Matt Pryror quit music in 2012 which wouldn’t have been very nice, but then he lived on a farm for a bit and didn’t quit and made an album with James Dewees (ex My Chemical Romance) and now he’s touring it which is nice. Yay. He’s also bring along the wonderful Allison Weiss who was recently in the UK with The Front Bottoms, expect catchy pop punk from both, but with the added bonus of honest lyrics and imaginative instrumentation.
Do you like Bach? Do you like Bach 5 times in 3 days across numerous Bath venues? If so, good news, the Bath Bachfest is happening. Events include Bach’s B minor mass in the Bath Abbey and the all Bach coffee concert in the Assembly rooms. If you like Bath but not quite 5 times in 3 days like Bach, then it’s still good news because you can go to individual events for as little as £10.
Technically this isn’t a comedy act, but honestly you all know that you’d be laughing more here than anywhere else. Fred Durst is 43 years old and the idea of him still doing the rollin’ dance and I assume wearing some hideous snapback is pretty damn incredible. Plus you can act all cool and Pitchfork indie and pretend that you’re all ironic and not a cunt.
Orla Gartland, Thekla, Thursday 13th February
The International Images for Science Exhibition, Royal United Hospital Bath, 24th January – 24th April
The Full Monty, Theatre Royal Bath, 3rd February – 15th February
Self-proclaimed “music makin’ ginger nutcase” Orla Gartland started recording covers on her YouTube channel and her combination of wonderful pretty loveliness and wonderful pretty music has resulted in her channel receiving over 10 million views to date. She released her debut EP Roots last November and it went to #1 in the Irish album chart and #15 in the UK, with her folk pop sound being described as similar to Imogen Heap and Regina Spektor.
The Royal Photographic Society’s International Images for Science Exhibition showcases the vast range of applications of photography within modern-day science. Many of the images represent worlds beyond human vision, using the microscope and the telescope, subjects revealed through polarised light, fluorescence and techniques such as high speed photography.
Naked men doing songs by Donna Summer, Rod Stewart, Hot Chocolate and Tom Jones and a script by Oscar Winner Simon Beaufoy, what’s not to like? The Full Monty has been selling out all over the country and will play Bath immediately prior to opening at the Noel Coward Theatre in London’s West End. Directed by Daniel Evans.
Monday 10th February 2014
2013 ge facebook.com/bathimpact
1. Haken - The Mountain My God, where did this album come from? This is very loosely a concept album, in that it’s tied by thematic links (striving for goals, climbing mountains; straightforward metaphors that hold up until you reach the song about the King of the Cockroaches), but doesn’t allow the theme to dictate or shackle the works together. They’ve modernised the retrograde 70s rock emulations of “prog” bands of lesser repute by using a more restrained and less self-indulgent sound. The tracks on this album have some bizarre variety (e.g. the jazz breakdown in the opening track), but these London proggers manage to add them together with such a subtlety that it doesn’t sound forced. There are so many brilliant moments hidden within songs that may be ten minutes long, yet don’t ever seem overdone or overlong, and do so well to hold the concentration of the listener for their entirety. This is especially highlighted in the really heavy ending of the track Pareidolia, which has such preparation and build-up that when it strikes, it actually feels like a true capitulation of the piece. An amazing album and such an accomplished piece.
3. Steven Wilson - The Raven That Refused To Sing Since Wilson announced recently that he has no plans to return to Porcupine Tree and they are on indefinite hiatus, their fans have found solace in the fact that Wilson has managed to consistently release great albums in his solo career. The third instalment of this is The Raven That Refused to Sing. From the heart-rending Drive Home to the powerful musicianship of The Watchmaker, this album shows that Steven Wilson, ever a perfectionist, is incapable of making a bad album -- not even one. The opening track, Luminol, takes elements of The Mars Volta and modern ‘math’ music, then instantly subverts them Wilson’s usual fare of longing guitar parts and gentle synth soundscapes. The other tracks build on this, with an increasing virtuosity and musical confidence that results in a well-structured, well-conceived work. The only reason this doesn’t rank higher is that Arcade Fire and Haken have managed to create albums that have a more contemporary sound, whereas The Raven That Refused To Sing doesn’t sound dissimilar enough to Wilson’s other works.
5. Daft Punk - Random Access Memories A: The highlight of Random Access Memories comes after around 15 minutes as an acoustic drum kit enters and rocks out with Giorgio Moroder’s musical essence in the form of repetitive synthesisers. This is a pretty fair reflection of what RAM sounds like, and why it is good. Ok, there has been a lot of hype, but the album does genuinely deserve recognition as a significant piece of music. It rocks because it brings rock drums back to the dance floor. The production and performance is utterly perfect; the producers are at the top of their game, with access to the best guests and session players around. The lyrics are pretty trite, but there is a sense that this is a deliberate nod to the genre conventions. Is it possible to make a perfect dance record with mature, thoughtprovoking lyrics? The pacing is a bit jarring, with the pulse stopping entirely in the ‘Touch’ intro, and in general the style is relaxed when compared with prominent earlier work. These are not heady party pieces, and in hindsight, we always had a bit of a soft spot for chilled tracks like Discovery’s ‘Voyager’. The cause of the unrest is not really the inclusion of these tracks; it’s the overall length. 74 minutes is excessive for a work where there is no particular relationship between tracks, and this could have easily been broken into two EPs. J: The BIGGEST reservation I have about this album is that I’m sick to death - sick sick sick sick SICK to DEATH - of Get Lucky. When I first heard it, I loved it; a refreshing, likeable tune with an enjoyable modern-yet-classicfunk beat. But it got old really fast. I like HOUMOUS, I really love it (A: he really does), but if one day I suddenly said “I love HOUMOUS so much; I wish I had a lifetime supply” and some wish-giving being decided to shovel HOUMOUS into my mouth at a rate of three gallons a day, then had all my friends and the TV and the radio and some crazed hobo on the street talk to me about it EVERY DAY… I wouldn’t enjoy it so much. In fact, by about the third day, I would be completely sick of HOUMOUS and would curse myself for every liking it in the first place. This is what spoils this album for me, the fact that Get Lucky is so seared onto my brain by the incessant radio/tv/advert plays, I have to SKIP THE TRACK and I always say if you skip a track on an album, it’s not the best album you’ve listened to. A: You’re absolutely right. They brought it on themselves.
8. Karnivool - Asymmetry A: Let’s have some tasty Aussie prog metal, even if it does take a few cues from Dream Theater. In truth, the strength of Asymmetry lies in its variety. There is a balance between well-executed but pedestrian modern metal/ progressive arrangements, and more creative sound design. Something is deliciously wrong with the bass guitar tone in ‘The Last Few’, while the title track is a few minutes of glitchy looping and feedback drones (and it is a real track, not just a long widdly interlude a la Mars Volta). Good track transitions and restrained solos make it clear that they are focusing on the overall work. Generally, it pays off. There’s no shortage of ideas and the quantity of material is generous: I got to the end of ‘Sky Machine’ (44 minutes in) and thought “epic finale, good pacing”, looked at my media player and saw there were ANOTHER 20 MINUTES TO GO. In the end the album lets out gently; ironically Asymmetry peaks in the middle for a fairly symmetrical arch. This album doesn’t try to be catchy, or heavy, or complicated; it’s rich and thoughtful.
Written by Jonathan Arche
Our album junkies Jonathan Archer (J) and Adam J tastes by reviewing 2013 in albums. So when the # denly realised “Hang on, 2013 is one such year!” an ing 2013 in albums.
J: My my my! What a year! It seems that every ban so. Which got Adam and I onto an interesting discu just so good for music?”. We came to the conclusio in society at that time. I hypothesise that by the fo its turn tends to have fully petered out; the bubble tentment is the enemy of inspiration (c.f. that epi point, the general atmosphere is perfect to maxim A: How good was 2013? Well, Coheed and Cambr didn’t make our Top 10 -- that’s how good.
Honourable Mentions: Dillinger Escape Plan - One of Us is the Killer, Beyo Fuck Buttons - Soft Focus, Physics House Band - H Winter, Dead Letter Circus - The Catalyst Fire, 65d Gustavo Santaolalla - The Last of Us (OST).
Dishonourable mention: Dream Theater - Whatever They Called This One (O Dream Theater): This year saw a habitually annual release from Dre revival of their 1992 (yes, 1992) release Images an or “the only Dream Theater album”). Why do we s SAME. Dream Theater is a bunch of individually gr garbage. If the whining of the effortlessly unwelco only be described as a circle-wank of musicians im amazing that a band that has spent the past twen “prog” label has done so little to achieve any actua ing of John Petrucci masturbating his guitar while innovative than they could be floats your boat the some of the bands on this list (and the 1973 list) as
6. James Blak
A: It won the Mercury Prize; but then so did Alt-J, so wh An Awesome Wave is one of my all-time favourite album Overgrown is a touch less experimental than Blake’s pre feels fresh and significant. It is possible that he is expandi order to give his contemporaries time to catch up. ‘Voye sically sleazy synth work for a foreboding, uncomfortable like everyone is making tracks about porn this year? Iro together some other imagery from over the record; m The most interesting development is on the powerful ‘Ta guest rap vocals from RZA. While RZA outlines the stor cessant pleading that drives the track forwards, the whol infrequent, wavering interjections - “you can’t marry her record are as fragile as on his debut, but less solitary as consistently present. Instead of “my brother and my sis but I don’t blame them”, we have “...show me where you rybody else, we’re alone now”. Both are intimate, difficu other people. Songs to push you out of your comfort zo tional barriers, and have you coming back for solace a we
9. Everything E
A: There were a coup with two strong sing Also, a lot of the stre the novelty of the a cals. How could the worried; they have r ‘Kemosabe’ should r some noticeable rec really stands out bec and lyrics are pleasa vicious. Popular cultu cant events are allud J: So basically they’r A: FFFFUUUUUUuuu
Monday 10th February 2014
er (J) and Adam Jackson (A)
Jackson (A) try to show us their contemporary music ###3 album reviews were all said and done, we sudnd thus set about the nigh-impossible task of review-
nd waiting to release a good album chose 2013 to do ussion: “Just why is the fourth year of a decade (###3) on that it’s all a matter of prevailing levels of optimism ourth year of a decade, the optimism that comes with e bursts, so to speak. Going by the old adage that conisode of Spaced when Brian gets a girlfriend), at this mise the level of good artistic output. ria released their best record in many years, and still
oncé – Beyoncé, letlive. - The Blackest Beautiful, Horizons/Rapture (EP), Ólafur Arnalds - For Now I am daysofstatic - Wild Light, Deafheaven – Sunbather,
Or, How We Learned to Stop Worrying and Not Love
eam Theater, continuing their twenty-one-year-long nd Words (aka “the only good Dream Theater album”, say this? Because EVERY SINGLE RELEASE IS THE reat musicians who, when together, just spaff out ome James laBrie doesn’t turn you off, then what can mpersonating every classic prog band should do. It’s nty years being branded with the ever-cheapening al progress, but hey, if a 40-60 minute-long recordlaBrie pines for 70s bands that are infinitely more en listen away -- but please please PLEASE listen to s well. It gets so much better.
ke - Overgrown
hat does that mean? (J: ms, thanks!) Musically, evious work, but it still ing his palette a little in eur’ contains some clase air - why does it seem onically, the lyrics trace marriage and doorways. ake A Fall For Me’, with ry, and provides the inle story is told in Blake’s r”. The emotions on this s a romantic interest is ster don’t speak to me, u’re strong; ignore eveult records to share with one, break down emoeek later.
Everything - Arc
ple of reasons to be skeptical about Arc; it is front-loaded gles, which is rarely a good sign for an album as a whole. ength of Everything Everything’s astounding debut lay in arrangements; rocking synth-pop with agile falsetto voey compensate for the loss in novelty? We needn’t have retained the ability to write original, powerful tunes (and really be considered for “melody of the year”.) There is cycling of rhythms and shapes from Man Alive, but it only cause they were so distinctive in the first place. The music antly at odds; energetic and depressing, supportive and ure is both embraced and savaged, while far more signifided to. Good stuff. re a poor man’s Alt-J uuu-
2 Arcade Fire - Reflektor The melodies! The rhythm! The harmony! The ideas! So detailed, so effortless! This was the one to beat. Influences from disco to gospel feed a new line-up of instruments which avoids difficult comparisons with their seemingly unbeatable earlier records. The double album is well-structured with some contrast between the sides, which are not overly long. These work independently or can be combined for an 85-minute masterpiece. Honestly one of the most difficult things about researching music for this list was resisting the urge to just listen to Reflektor again. Opening your album with the title track which is also the first single would be expected to be evidence of a band that has only written one good song… but this one is over 7 minutes long and just kicks off a consistent feast of alternative rock. The second half is generally more electronic than the first half, but there is no great discrepancy. ‘Porno’ is the most measured and sensitive take we’ve seen on the current porn hysteria, while ‘Afterlife’ is a magical elating heartbreak of a song. The special quality of Reflektor really lies in its relentless foottapping danceability; even the relaxed outro ‘Supersymmetry’ will have you bobbing around like an idiot. Unfortunately, this also leads to the album’s only major flaw; after 5 minutes or so it fades and returns into some burbling sound design, which appears intended to be played backwards. While a nice novelty, it’s not especially listenable and not the kind of gimmick that belongs as the finale of such an accomplished double album.
4. The Ocean - Pelagial 2013 was definitely a big year for metal releases. From the softer releases of Haken, The Catalyst Fire and TesseracT to the heavier releases from Heart of a Coward, Born of Osiris and Hacride, 2013’s metal musicians stretched their legs, exploring the newfound range of their genre since the infamous nu-metal creative downtime of the early 2000s. One album that explored pretty much the entire spectrum of this more modern, more composed and more experimental sound in one place was The Ocean’s release Pelagial. The album concept is an exploration into the depths of the psyche taking the form of a metaphorical journey to the depths of the ocean. Each track is named after a different layer of the ocean, from the surface layer (epipelagic) through the intermediary layers (meso- and bathypelagic) and finally exploring the deeper, darker, unknown regions of the Abyssopelagic and Hadopelagic. As you delve deeper into the ocean, there is less light, and the tone of the album darkens. It’s a simple idea, but the execution is astounding. The lyrics are also very explorative, diving into the subconscious mind to explore regions we aren’t fully aware of and whose mystery we can even be afraid of. The lyrical themes also explore a story similar to that of the 1979 Russian Art-house film, The Stalker, about a room which fulfils ALL of the wishes of the user. With different levels of the brain come different desires, and there is a clear distinction between what the conscious and the unconscious mind wishes for. The album weaves this together with a powerful visual metaphor that makes this a really brilliant work of art and a great piece of music.
7. Arcane Roots - Blood and Chemistry This album nicely underscores the fact that alternative rock and non-extreme metal are basically indistinguishable now; there is plenty of metal out there with strong clean vocals and anthemic chorus, while the rock bands have been reaching for louder and nastier fuzz pedals and developed a hard-on for palm muting. Blood and Chemistry has it all; cleans, riffs, cheery choruses, big melodies, noise and even the odd scream. In many ways this is a musical successor and update to Muse’s Absolution, our top record of 2003. However, Absolution was a trailblazer; Blood and Chemistry is smart enough and shows a few Math influences, but cannot be expected to have a similar impact. Partly this is due to the weak ballads and the over-familiarity of some melodies, but the main problem is simply that they have so many competitors.
10. TesseracT - Altered State After the success of their astounding 2011 debut, One (which is in Jon’s top 10 albums of all time), TesseracT come back to the studio fresh from the Classic Rock Presents Prog Awards with this by-the-numbers continuation of a sound which has been duplicated by pretty much every modern metal band 2 years since. This is new TesseracT, not novel TesseracT. Since 2011, the ‘Djent’ metal sound has rather moved on and matured; other bands have built on it (see other brit prog-metal band ‘Monuments’) to the point where the TesseracT sound has become so over-used that we can’t help but come to Altered State with a sense of impatience. TesseracT appear to have adopted the classic adage “stick in a saxophone and call it ‘prog’”, which makes the solo in ‘CalabiYau’ sound contrived (c.f. every Pink Floyd album). The fake, unimaginative vocal harmonies really get to me after a while; they could sound so much better with a bit of contrary motion. The problem was solved about 500 years ago, and I feel entitled to better musicianship and attention-to-detail from such a talented group. ALL that being said, this album is pretty amazing; their compositions are so accomplished and so distinctive that this album still sits high above the rest. ‘Exile’ hits the sweet spot for us, as it’s well-paced and the weak aspects feel well-motivated.
Monday 10th February 2014
Hey BBC, try the sound of silence? T facebook.com/bathimpact
he BBC’s “Sound of…” lists have always been a bit of a bullshit thing. Obviously they’ve picked some huge artists over the years, 50 Cent in 2003 (Electric Six came second which is my favourite thing about “Sound of…”), Adele in 2008 and Jessie J in 2011. But really weren’t all of those artists a bit famous anyway? Before their respective wins, 50 had already been signed by Eminem and featured on the 8 Mile soundtrack, Adele had released 19 and Hometown Glory, and Jessie J had released Do It Like a Dude. It doesn’t take Brian Epstein to work out they were going to sell records. They’ve also got it horrifically wrong (anyone ever heard of the Bravery?). So almost from the beginning it’s pretty fair to say that “Sound of…” was more a chance for some journalists to prove how down with the kids they were and score some indie tail (“yeah, I basically discovered Bloc Party”) than a real showcase of as yet unheard talent (if it was down to talent Chance the Rapper would have got each position in the top 5 this year). Either that or they’re just wrong (this year they’re both, see Chance the Rapper). Still, at least when it started it was slightly relevant. In 2003 the internet was still just the loading screen inside the clunky white box that the talking paperclip lived in and record labels were reining supreme. If someone wanted to release an album they would see if they could get signed, go off to the studio and then go through a few months of marketing and promotional things. Most bands got fucked off by label executives who bathed in Jacuzzis filled with money, champagne and only the whitest, purest Eastern European hookers. It might have been a one sided, exploitative system, but things got done almost the same way every time. In that system a “Sound of…” competition makes sense as all the albums will come out when they’re supposed
to and you can predict who’s going to be big and when. However, the internet kind of got a bit bigger than the clunky white box (anyone notice?) and that, along with a few other things, has slightly changed the music industry. Labels are still pretty huge, but in no way are they the be all and end all like they used to be. Some kid in a Dundee bedroom could be working away most evenings on a pirated copy of Fruity Loops making house music for the fun of it. One evening he or she chucks it up on Soundcloud or Bandcamp to see what their friends think and a day later millions of people have listened to it. If they have a silly video about cabbage or Richard Nixon to go with it then it might go viral and within a week everyone and their talking Fox will have seen it and boom, they’re the real Sound of 2014. Maybe that’s a joke, but we all know it could happen. More artists are going independent and more are holding their labels for ransom. Death Grips did it best with No Love Deep Web (cracking album, even better cover), but already in 2014 the brilliant Angel Haze has self-leaked an album after being annoyed with her label. Then you’ve got the fucking queen (Beyoncé, obviously) dropping an album that no one outside her close circle had any idea about, thereby ruining everyone else’s promotion or predictions of who’s going to be number one that week. So it might be a nice procrastiread and it might give some exposure to a few good artists, but really “The Sound of…” lists are just no longer relevant. I mean for all we know Kanye West, Paul McCartney and Lennie Henry have started emailing each other and are planning to drop a 90s dubstep inspired concept album about going down on Piers Morgan. What would your precious list do in the face of that gargantuan beauty indie journalists? Cower down and die, that’s what! Anyway, we’ve already had the biggest music story of 2014 because Outkast are back and nothing else matters.
a page of the meandering thoughts of boy genius Thomas Gane
This will be the main folk breakdown instrument of the next Mumford and Sons EP
bite’s Sounds of 2014 1. Dennis Rodman and Kim Jong Un release a Simon and Garfunkel cover album, as well as their hit single Go Down South (and take no prisoners). 2. Millions die as Beyoncé drops her next album straight into people’s brains, the concentrated dose of fabulousness and magnificence was too much for anyone who voted Tory to handle. 3. Rebecca Black releases Sunday in April, a dark and reflective folk song about the effects of Alzheimer’s in later life, before inventing an entirely new day that nobody else can pronounce. 4. The 1975 and Alt-J combine to write an EP so hipster that it can only be heard if you have surgery to turn your ears into triangles. 5. The McBusted tour descends into jealous infighting which ends with the on stage execution of Busted and inspires McFly’s multi-platinum Christmas Number one , Five Bullets in his Brain.
Shiver me Tinder. Where is my soul?
try my best not to be vain. I don’t spend much money on new clothes or aftershave or a personal assistant who tells me how pretty I am on the hour of every hour (although that’s half down to me not having the money). I mean I try and eat a bit healthily and do a bit of exercise from time to time which is partially vanity, but also down to the fact that my friends all think I’m the one most likely to die before I’m 30. Still, in the same way that I catch myself playing with my hair in the lift mirror at work, last night I found myself clicking the download button on Tinder. I told myself it would be a 24 hour thing. I would Tinder Tinder. One day to see what the fuss was all about, write the article and then swipe left. Judge it and dump it. That’s probably not going to happen. I’m already a bit addicted and I’m more than a bit ashamed. It’s so easy and so shallow and I hate that I do it. I’m not paying attention to it, I’ll just be watching Peep
Show and absent mindedly swiping right, right, right, left, right, left, left, right, left and suddenly it’s 1am. I’ve judged hundreds of people within a few seconds of seeing them like it’s a silly game and I hate myself a bit more than I did yesterday. But then it is a silly game. I never see the people, they never know if I’ve gone left or right, if I’d shag, marry or avoid. It seems harmless. My flatmates and I even play games with it. Best name, how many duck faces in a row, funniest picture, how ridiculous can you make the sex jokes before the guy who thinks he’s in quits. It’s all a façade. There’s nothing to gain, there’s no point or reason, but it feels kind of nice deciding what you think about someone based upon fuck all. I’ve managed to avoid reality TV up until now, but I can feel Tinder’s icy hands dragging me down. The most ridiculous thing about it is I started to find myself caring a bit. I started making up little rules. Cute animals, pic-
tures at festivals and actually funny pictures were all automatically a swipe right. All professionally shot photos or ridiculous poses were a left. A casual party shot was a right, but not if it looked really forced. Even worse I started to panic when after a few hours I didn’t have any matches. I started changing the pictures, I added a bit more to the about me (it had previously just been a copy of Charlie Kelly’s dating profile from the It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia episode) and contemplated liking some Facebook pages to get a few more shared interests. I eventually got a few matches and started some conversations, but it was nice to know my self-confidence could be knocked so easily by an app I’d treated as a joke a few days ago. I dread to think what this might morph into once Google Glass and other wearable technology takes off. Swipe right and it projects an image of you two banging right into your frontal lobe whilst the iGasm un-
derwear we all have in the future gives you both a sharp dose of robo-pleasure. It’ll be the end of society. No one will go outside or do anything because we’re all having virtual sex with downloadable Ryan Gosling’s and Emma Watson’s. Okay maybe that won’t happen and I’m over reacting, but despite how much fun it is I’m not overly fond of Tinder. The judging aspect is pretty bad, but the fact we’re now too lazy to fuck if it can’t be initiated with a swipe of the finger is pretty damming on us all. It’s one of the only truly enjoyable things that’s absolutely free and we’re letting smartphones dictate it. Get out there and meet people! Buy each other drinks, dance, fuck (if you want to), share a cigarette afterwards and chat shit to the pillow! Live through yourself, not through Tinder! Then again, I might just be bitter and sexually frustrated. I’ve also checked Tinder five times while writing this, so who am I to judge?
Monday 10th February 2014
Fashion Fo facebook.com/bathimpact
At the start of last month we entered the New Year in a ﬂurry of celebrations, resolutions and parties. Now a few weeks on, m mester 2 blues with our sna
It is time for Mystic Meg to dust oﬀ her crystal ball and gaze in
“No my de
But what does she know? She’s a 71 year old astrologer, let’s ask s
Written by Abi Glencross
Bee in your bonnet? Luckily for us, we pinned down top Streeters agency stylist and 3 times British Hairdresser of the Year award winner Angelo Seminara. Angelo has taken time from his busy schedule to look back with us into 2013, and reveal where his creativity is leading him this coming year.
TONI&GUY’s London Academy International Director Jane Stacey reveals what inspires her, and why this year T&G are keeping us in suspense with their cards close to their chest.
“One of your big projects in 2013 was the Davines ‘Mother of Pearl’ collection, can you give us an overview of the project?” Mother of Pearl was a really classical collection. The hair colouring consisted of subtle blends with ﬂashes of illumination, and the cuts were soft and feminine.
Yes, I am usually quite Avant Garde, however this collection was more simplistic and pure. 2013 was about being versatile and attainable, wearable for everyone yet still unique.
“Did this reﬂect 2013 for you?”
“When working on something creative, from where do you get your inspiration from?
Inspiration comes from all diﬀerent sources. My most recent inspiration came from the catwalk and the ‘it girls’ of today, working with colours from the latest fabrics to the undone hair of the ‘it girls’ such as Cara Delevingne. Last season it was all about the structure and lines within architecture and moody colours from an artist exhibition. “Can you predict the hairstyle of 2014?”
“What do you do for inspiration?”
Much of my inspiration comes from nature, most of my ideas evolve from the world around us, anything from wildlife to the femininity of women. I am quite unique as I then transpose these ideas into my work.
“So where is Angelo Seminara’s creativity heading this year?”
With so many individuals...it will depend on the type of style each group is in? I do think pastels into groomed hair will be around a little longer, but I'm thinking accentuated panels in the fringe area and more natural tones of colour, but still coloured hair wil be in. Colour my hair natural! “It was T&G’s 50th anniversary show in 2013, which was a biggie! How do you guys plan to keep that momentum going ion 2014?” Ah that would be telling...BUT its going to be BIG! Working on it already.
For autumn/ winter we are promoting our ‘Woodland’ collection, incorporating earthy and natural tones. However in spring/ summer there will be quite a change, we are launching ‘Slick Swan’ which will be much more graphic. Think strong colour, geometric shapes with an 80’s feel about it.
“Haha okay, I’ll try a diﬀerent tact. Have you got any projects you currently working on?”
With cuts like this under his belt, and clientele including the likes of Suki Waterhouse (Bradley Cooper’s gf), Angelo has a jam packed schedule ahead of him. Starting with Prada and Gucci this month, he is then oﬀ to ﬁnd inspiration in South America. Check out more of his work at: http://www.angeloseminara.com/
We are about to start shooting the ‘classic collection’ we release every six to seven years which is a big big job, and that’s happening this year. We always have something on the go, always exciting.
Monday 10th February 2014
orecast 2014 facebook.com/bathimpactv
many of us have been struck down with the dreaded ‘back to work’ fever. Everything looks a little...grey, so let’s destroy the Seazzy and bright New Year style!
nto our fashion futures. Pray tell us Meg, is the 2014 future bright?
ear, it’s pastel”
some REAL industry experts their opinion on what’s in store for 2014.
nke e m
I see my style as performative, colourful and creative. I am French but I don't have the Parisian minimalistic style! My style is a mismatch of things that I made, vintage pieces and clothes found in ﬂee markets and charity shop. “Your three must haves of 2013” My style is wild and untutored, I have no fashion icons, I don't follow trends, I don't believe in "must haves" and I have no idea of what is "hot" for next season. So I would say my three revisited atemporal basics are blue electric leather perfecto, a transparent plastic PVC trench and golden Vinyl jeans! “Your most exciting piece of work to date?”
“Can you describe your style one sentence?”
“Can you describe your style one sentence?”
h d e ll
Head of Wardrobe at TONI&GUY Juli Molnar sums up her own personal style, and how T&G are going to have their work cut out topping one hell of a 2013.
Live artist, fashion costume and London Fashion Week (LFW) LEGO designer AnneSophie Cochevelou explains why experimenting in fashion doesn’t have to cost the world, and how the sky’s the limit for 2014.
The most amazing piece I worked on this year was the Lego dress for LFW, which was made with over 5000 Lego bricks!
“How do you see spring/ summer looking this year?” Colourful, graphic with experiment on texture and material, I want something futuristic! “Can you predict an outﬁt that will be the outﬁt of 2014?” From the catwalk I didn't see the outﬁt, but more a lot of very diﬀerent trends like tribal (Givenchy, Valentino, Alexander McQueen) and colourful for for the summer (Prada, Dolce Gabanna, Miu-Miu). From my personal point of view the 2014 outﬁt would be a golden Barbie dress! Check out all of Sophies adventures at: http://cycleinheels.blogspot.co.uk/ Her amazing creations are for sale at: http://www.etsy.com/shop/cycleinheels
My personal style is boyish, rock and roll-ish, which I like to call ‘roadie chic’.
“Where do you get your inspiration to style for T&G from?” My styling for TONI&GUY comes from the brand's history, their image mostly. I like to keep it up to date, feminine and utterly cool using young designers and new brands from overseas. I work closely with the art directors to make sure the clothes go perfectly with the hairstyles and colours, complimenting each other for strong impact. “What were your three must haves of 2013” Bold stripes, crop tops, laser cut leather pieces. “How about a 2014 prediction?” Christopher Kane jumpers and YSL mini dresses.
n is y g ir
“Will these change for 2014?” Well, bold stripes are already quite dated. Crop tops for example can be updated with layers, especially white on white which I think will be a strong trend and laser cut is also beautiful in all white. There might not be huge changes, but things will be calmer, cleaner and classier in 2014. “Have you got any projects you are working on at the moment?” Yep, a couple of shows and shoots for T&G in February, then our campaign shoot in March - so I'm already gearing up for a busy spring. “Aside from you awesome job, how do you chill out?” I like red wine, artful tattoos, watching BBC News on a loop, boogie boarding and could not live without my Vogue collection.
Monday 10th February 2014
Top 10 Films of 2013 W Written by Ron Morrow
hy are you looking at this article? Because you’re interested in films, right? I thought as much. If you’re interested in films enough to look at my 10 then I’m guessing you’re also the kind of person who’s going to be well aware that it’s currently award season. BAFTAs, Golden Globes, Oscars, any of them, it doesn’t matter which. If I gave you my personal list of the top 10 I can guarantee you that it would just be exactly what you’d find in the nomination majorities, just maybe in a slightly different order. The films that get nominated are basically collated from the top 10s of respected critics across the world. That list of top nominations is then almost exclusively populated by 3 hour dramas, and while they are objectively
“the best films”, they’re often not exactly great for casual watching. If you’re anything like me then as much as you might like those films, you also love just stick on something your mate recommended and be pleasantly surprised. If you’ve come this far then perhaps you’re willing to come just a little further. Consider this to be the kind of conversation we’d have in the pub, with a lot of “Dude! I can’t believe you haven’t seen that!” and “Seriously, so underrated!” Not a hipster list, you’ll find no foreign language art-house films here (not that you shouldn’t watch those, you totally should), just good, fun film of 2013 that you may have glossed over, and that you’d you’d be hard pushed to find nominated for anything more than a specialist category.
Let’s start you off with an easy one: Oz, the Great and Powerful. As I’m sure you’re probably aware this is based on L Frank Baum’s ago old novel, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. instead of focussing on Dorothy though, what we instead get is an interpretation of the story form the perspective of the Wizard. Due to some boring issues you don’t need to worry about this is actually based on the book alone, and not the 1939 film (yes, it really is that old) so don’t expect this to fit in with the story from Wicked. What you do get though are some brilliant visuals, James Franco as a magically-challenged, and Mila Kunis as a sexy witch. Seriously, what more can you ask for? Oh, you want “real magicians”? Well we can do that too with Now You See Me. Don’t give me all that “But it’s just tricks! Not real magic!”, being able to bring together an extensive cast and then successfully mash up The Prestige and Ocean’s 11 is what true cinema wizardry is all about. By keeping just enough up their sleeve to keep the misdirection coming, Now You See Me makes a smart film for the masses. Already green-lit for a sequel it’s one you’re going to want to acquaint yourself with. You really want magic though? Like, real, proper magic? Go watch Frozen, right now. I promised that this list wasn’t filled with award style films, and though this gem is nominated for/has won almost every animated and original song category there is, people are often quick to dismiss animated films thinking that they’ve ‘grown out of them’. Frozen deserves your attention, especially given that you can still catch it at the cinema if you’re lucky. Yes it’s Disney, yes it’s a musical, but my god, it is hilarious. Despite my protesting that it’s a film for everyone, I bet there are still those out there rolling their eyes at me. Ok, this next one is for the kids who grew up playing with action figures instead of princess dolls.
Pacific Rim. Take every Saturday morning cartoon you ever watched. Now imagine them mashed together and turned into a version of the Transformers films that’s far less shit and not trying to sell you more toys. Pacific Rim is that film. It’s mental, it’s full of stereotypes and clichés, it should be god awful. It is not, it is awesome. Giant robots fight giant Godzilla like monsters, Idris Elba shouts motivational things at people, and whole cities are destroyed on screen and you will finish the film feeling pumped as hell. Your inner child, the one that ran around the room with a sword pretending to be a Power Ranger, will thank you. If you do fancy something serious but a little experimental, then Place Beyond the Pines is definitely worth checking out. Ryan Gosling is Luke, a motorcycle stuntsman-come-bank robber, and Bradley Cooper is a cop who’s out to stop him and make a name for himself. What’s interesting about Place Beyond though is that it tells its story in an entirely un-ordinary fashion. Your usual story is told in three parts: start, middle, and end, but while this is still told in three parts, it’s more like: part 1, part 2, part 3. It doesn’t work as well as I’m sure the director would have liked it to, but the people who push the boundaries are the ones worth keeping an eye on. Lastly, there’s pushing the boundary and then there is tearing down the fourth wall, and just straight up making a film about yourself. This is The End (not to be confused with The World’s End) is a film featuring James Franco, Seth Rogan, Jonah Hill et al, all as embellished versions of themselves, trying to survive the end of the world. Maybe this film needs a little background watching of their back catalogues to fully appreciate the jokes, but chances are you’ll have seen enough to find it hilarious as it is. It breaks almost every rule of story-telling there is, but it works and it works well.
Top 10 Films of 2013
Top 10 Films of 2013
You want my real recommendation though? Go to the cinema without knowing what’s on, or boot up whatever you stream through and see what you get recommended. You really never know what films will grab you until you’ve seen them. Not only that, but if you spend your whole life
just watching what others told you to then you never get to be the one making the recommendations to others. Films are there for your enjoyment, and it really doesn’t matter whether they’re the cream of the crop or the barrel scum of the film world, so long as you’re entertained.
Monday 10th February 2014
Roses are red, bacon is also red facebook.com/bathimpact
ecently I noticed everything is turning pink and heart shaped balloons adorn the windows of shops; this must mean Valentine ’s Day is approaching. For those that don’t know, Valentine’s is a day used to show your signiﬁcant other that they are indeed signiﬁcant. With money and spontaneity even the most tedious of lovers, who usually graces the couch watching hours of The Only Way is Essex or Match of the Day highlights can show that given a materialistic push, they are indeed the one. I’m not sure anyone really enjoys Valentine’s day, just like I’m not sure anyone enjoys birthdays. See there is an expectation, the expectation to be pampered to feel the centre of attention and very much loved. But it’s this very expectation which means that true happiness can never be found. It doesn’t matter if your boyfriend takes you to your favourite restaurant or if your girlfriend gives you a morning blowjob (the only thing men really want) because, well, they were obliged to. So if they didn’t they obviously just don’t care. What would usually be a wonderful, meaningful gift gets ranked against the other couples’ courting displays in some romantic competition. In the end all this forced meaning in fact just creates meaninglessness. Some
people I think either know this or feel this, so try to beat the system, like crafty, crafty foxes. They won’t tell you or make a big deal out of Valentine’s, secretly hoping for your to remember so they can act surprised, and fool themselves into thinking you weren’t emotionally blackmailed in some way. The bastards. It may be quite apparent right now that I’m not fond of Valentine’s Day, this however doesn’t mean I hate love or that I’m a pessimistic asshole. I enjoy buying people things, I love to get people gifts I know they will like and bestow them on unsuspecting friends. It’s just the obligation to care which is enforced by advertising, movies, books and fear that I detest. Oh and the pinkie-red colour everywhere, hate that shit, don’t know why. Just do. There is however one aspect of Valentine’s I have failed to mention, Single people; they are hilarious. Valentine’s is deﬁnitely the best night to go out. Single men prowl the streets, waiting to pounce upon women like small, defenceless deer. Women throw away the usual hard to get tactics with a panicked shopping-like fury in their eyes. The night moves on and slowly people pair oﬀ, until the lights come up and all that’s left is an orgy of death and destruction with George Osborn
Written by John Barlow
If you don’t buy your sweetheart the best thing ever that she wants. Then this...
at the centre mid-falatio with the devil laughing manically and throwing all your wasted money in the air, whilst Lost Prophets play in the background accompanied by a chorus of cherubs… or something like that. Honestly though it is pretty bad, unless you too
are the kind of person who feels there should be a day devoted to your narcissistic desire to feel appreciated by the opposite sex. I wholeheartedly suggest you stay at home and jack oﬀ to midget porn like all the other respectable citizens.
Nick West does a Valentine’s day Written by Nick West
appiness. Who needs it, right? So let’s sow some seeds of discontent in those stupid happy couples’ relationships. Well, if they’re so happy then I bet they want to get married, right? Well, I bet she does. So what you’re going to do is wait by the kitchens for a pair of wine glasses to leave. Then ask the waiter, very nicely, if you can slip an engagement ring in for your darling beloved. Then go back to the dining area and wait. Romance isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, so to take your mind oﬀ perhaps being alone, or maybe you weren’t feeling alone. Sorry. Ok so why not go for some other perspectives, to take your mind oﬀ things. We’ll start with some classical literature.
Case study: Romeo and Juliet A thirteen year old girl with a young man in his late teens or early twenties fall in love, get married in a couple of days and then kill themselves. Total death count: six people. Now do you want that on your conscience? Of course not. So stay single forever and maybe get a couple of cats.
Aww, your friend is in the cutest couple! They hold hands everywhere, they’re always on a dinner date or something else saccharine sweet. I mean, eurgh, they’re so sweet they’re giving you diabetes. So what you need to do is break them up, he’ll thank you for it in the long term. 34% of marriages end in divorce and I don’t like the sound of them odds. So why not play cupid’s evil brother Dipuc (I totes didn’t just make that up) and break them up like the Soviet Union? Get creative. Send some fake texts, photoshop some incriminating photographs, pay a contract killer - the possibilities are endless.
Okay, let’s be less spiteful for a moment. Fancy a free dinner? Of course you do. So do what some man on the internet did - go to a restaurant, ask for a table for two. Sit on your phone for an hour, then order a dinner (or two if you’re hungry, it’s up to you). When it arrives, leave it as long as you can stand to wait without it going horrible and cold and then tuck in (keep checking your phone). If you can manage silent tears go with those. You need to drag this out until closing time and, when you’re asked to leave, top it oﬀ with ‘You know, I don’t think she ever planned on coming.’ BAM - everyone pities you and a free dinner.
Drink You can drink scotch, gin, vodka, jägermeister, wine, schnapps - and that’s just what I’ve got in my fridge right now. Go wild, maybe eat some ice cream and watch Bridget Jones’ Diaries. Cry those tears because you’ll be alone forever, or because she’ll never love you, or because even your hand says it has a headache. You pathetic lump.
Monday 10th Febuary 2014
Freeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeman M facebook.com/bathimpact
Freeman (right) and Ali G playing at fun times in a car
someone who first read the book aged five and has done so every year since, that film captured what I thought was the essence of Tolkien’s story. The Hobbit is a bildungsroman (that’s pretenti-ese for a coming of age story) which tells the tale of Bilbo Baggins’ self-discovery. In this sense, it is vastly different from the Lord of the Rings which, although set in the same world, is told in the style of an epic myth interspersed heavily with character expositions. This is why the Lord of the Rings makes such a good movie: its core narratives and style lend themselves to the adaptation of an epic action film. The Hobbit, by contrast, is not written in this way, and the first film reflects this. The second, however, does not. Whether by pressure from executives or perceived pressure
from the fans of the first trilogy, Peter Jackson has caved and turned The Desolation of Smaug into an action flick. The result is a bizarre mish-mash which I simply cannot find it in myself to enjoy. Elven ninjas, dwarvish badasses and sordid, inter-species love affairs simply do not add up to The Hobbit. The saving grace is of course Freeman, of whom we don’t get to see enough on screen; as a dimunitive, slightly portly character, Bilbo is just not properly suited to a brawling fight scene. Tolkien realised this, so he created situations where his plucky hero had to use his wits and words to defeat his enemies, something the first film portrays magnificently with the Riddles in the Dark scene. This is what, as a child, I found so inspiring about Bilbo, and still do. But rather than repeat this successful formula with the spiders and dragon (as happens in the book), the second film just converts them, largely speaking, into more monster-bashing chaos. Bilbo does get to speak with Smaug, voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch, but rather than hold his nerve and match him verbal parry for witty riposte, he is constantly on the back foot and just turns into dead weight for his stocky comrades. It is a crying shame that a film so promising turned out to be so very lacklustre. Cumberbatch’s dragon-voice is chillingly malevolent and pitchperfect. If given sufficient screen time, he and Freeman, who for obvious reasons have a phenomenal verbal dynamic on screen, could have won the film multiple accolades (including my forgiveness for turning the rest of it into pirates versus ninjas). As it stands, they weren’t even permitted to record their lines together. Fuck it, I’m off to watch Sherlock. Or maybe Love Actually. JD Hancock
Written by Tom Ash
artin Freeman has always been destined for great things: this is a conclusion I drew from the moment I laid eyes on him in Love Actually. I confess my judgement may have been somewhat swayed, even distracted, by my vicarious enjoyment of Joanna Page’s nudity. In my defence, at thirteen my initiation into the arcane mysteries of Google (safe search off, naturellement) had not yet commenced and, sordid teenage fantasies aside, history has proved me right. Although, looking back on both of their careers, it feels surreal to think of my childhood hero Bilbo Baggins touching up Stacey whilst Gavin’s not around. Dirty little hobbitses. Don’t misunderstand me: in the vernacular of the Bath rugby player, Bilbo could be deservedly described as a ‘massive lad’. If surviving encounters with a cannibalistic troglodyte, giant spiders and a psychopathic reptile isn’t sufficient to get oneself laid in Hobbiton, then I don’t know what is. Stay with me, dear reader, for there is a purpose to my juxtaposition of Tolkien’s eponymous hero with Freeman’s previous, titillating exploits: when I first heard that a relatively famous actor was to play the title role in Peter Jackson’s adaptation of the Hobbit, I was both excited and concerned; excited, because Martin Freeman is bloody good; concerned, however, because I had a very definite conception of Bilbo in my mind and I felt that the baggage Freeman brought in terms of prior acting roles would render it difficult for me to reconcile him with his hairy-footed character. Fortunately, my above ‘Stacey Baggins’ indulgence aside, this was not the case when I watched the An Unexpected Journey; Freeman was the consummate halfling and better than I dared hope. As
K-Pop on the K-Up
Written by Helen Edworthy
by many fans, but was equally dreaded by fans for the fact that it largely wasn’t understood as being a K-Pop music video - it was merely the silly song with the funny dance. As such, because Gangnam Style was written off, it didn’t have the effect that a lot of people were both hoping for and dreading. Nonetheless, K-Pop has been making more and more of a name for itself worldwide, despite the fact that it has had major popularity in many Asian countries besides Korea since the 1990s. To make the point clearer, the simple fact is that more and more K-Pop groups and solo artists are holding concerts, embarking on tours, and filming music videos in non-Asian countries. In November 2013, seven-member group Infinite held a concert at the Hammersmith Apollo, after having a string of concerts in the US days before. This happened shortly after 9-year-old senior group Super Junior held their ‘Super Show 5’ concert at Wembley Arena, bringing along labelmates EXO (who have their own very large, very dedicated international fanbase). Just last month, 6-member boy group ‘UKISS’ did a three-concert US tour that started in New York and end-
ed in L.A. To add to the list of expansion outside Asia, last year group ‘VIXX’ filmed a music video in Stockholm, and in 2011 K-Pop veteran group Girl’s Generation (or SNSD) appeared on several American TV shows to promote their song ‘The Boys’. K-Pop continues to make a name for itself outside Korea and its welcoming audiences in Hong Kong, China, Japan, Singapore, and Malaysia (to name a few), but Western media seems to have trouble covering anything relating to K-Pop, largely because it seems as if many media outlets don’t seem to feel the need to do any research about it. During UKISS’ US tour, when discussing who the group were, ABC felt the need to describe them as ‘a Korean One Direction’. While it makes sense that K-Pop would be understood by a Westerner through a Western example, it detracts from the point - K-Pop groups have their own name, and their own fanbases. Calling them ‘Korean One Direction’ dilutes the group’s identity and makes it seem less of a legitimate thing - it makes them sound like they are copying another group that people in Western audiences are already familiar with. This lack of research was also present when
UKISS member Kevin Woo was described by ABC as being ‘one of the main performers’ of the group, which is a totally made up description that doesn’t make sense, due to all members being ‘main performers’. It makes the industry ‘experts’ look like idiots - including anybody who’s a fan of the groups being talked about (so basically anybody who would be following media about them in the first place) know straight away that they haven’t taken the time to understand what they’re talking about. So far, the article has been pretty serious - which is funny, since K-Pop is hardly a serious thing; it’s fluffy, fun pop for the most part, and most fans understand this, and the fact that this is a large part of K-Pop’s charm. What is serious is the fact that Western media seems to dismiss K-Pop as being something ‘foreign’, and therefore not legitimate. This is what made me want to write about non-Asian media’s lack of understanding for K-Pop the lack of wanting to understand what’s behind it, and maybe engage with its cultural context. K-Pop continues to grow, and hopefully so will the base of people willing to write about it seriously with a depth of understanding.
Lws & Clrk
lmost as soon as I set out to write an article about the fact that Western media is largely awful at writing about K-Pop, I became incredibly blocked and couldn’t write anything. This is despite the fact that as having been a fan of K-Pop for three years, I have a wealth of knowledge about it - admittedly, as a 20-year-old English woman, my understanding of K-Pop is tainted by the fact that I am not from the culture it represents, and am not its target demographic. Nevertheless, I know a thing or two - and knowing a thing or two about K-Pop is largely something that Western media doesn’t seem to concern itself with. K-Pop is getting more and more of a world spotlight - oddly not propelled by the success of Psy’s ‘Gangnam Style’ in the way many people thought it would. Gangnam Style, also known as ‘the funny song in the weird language with the silly horsey dance’, was thought to be by people who were already fans of K-Pop as both a beacon and a burden - the idea that Korean pop was about to get much more exposure in Western media than it had previously, was looked upon happily
Monday 10th February 2014
Snuzzly Puzzly Zone Quick Quiz 1. The Green Booklet and the White Booklet are spelling guides for which European language? 2. How long is a naval dog watch? 3. Which exotic fruit takes its name from the Malay for “hair”? 4. Which genetic disorder is sometimes called “the royal disease”? 5. What is the name of the dog in the HMV logo? 6. To which island was Napoleon exiled following the 1814 Treaty of Fontainebleau? 7. Nessun Dorma is an aria from which Puccini opera? 8. Which English county was historically divided into regions known as “lathes”? 9. In Breaking Bad, Walter White has inoperable cancer of which organ? 10. Who coined the phrase “survival of the fittest”?
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Rules for Rectangulon:
Down 1 Ernest Hemingway novel set during World War I (1,8,2,4) 2 Skilled male worker; male shopkeeper (9) 3 Basic, fundamental (6) 4 One habitually active late at night (5-4) 5 Juvenile form of e.g. insects (5) 6 Chronic sleeplessness (8) 7 Hater of the elderly; to feed (livestock) for payment (5) 8 Sports Day event (3-3-5,4) 15 The common people (Greek: ‘the many’) (3,6) 16 King of England succeeded by Edward VI (5,4) 17 Uncertain, wavering (8) 20 Former male students (6) 22 Aromatic herb (5) 23 To follow or behave in accordance with (advice) (3,2)
Subdivide the grid into regions such that each contains exactly one dot, about which it has 180-degree rotational symmetry.
Subdivide the grid into rectangles such that each contains precisely one numbered square and has area equal to that number.
Quiz Answers: 1. Dutch, 2. Two hours, 3. Rambutan, 4. Haemophilia, 5. Nipper, 6. Elba, 7. Turandot, 8. Kent, 9. The lung, 10. Herbert Spencer.
Across 1 Third from last — tame penile taunt (anag.) (15) 9 Inspiring wonder or atonishment (7) 10 In a hurry (7) 11 Injection of liquid into the rear (5) 12 Sweetener and flavour modifier — I taunt ham (anag.) (9) 13 Television equivalent of an Oscar (4) 14 Strands of hair dyed lighter than the rest (10) 18 Traditional coating for cricket bats (7,3) 19 Knowledge, data (4) 21 (Music) Not to be omitted, mandatory (9) 24 Provide, supply (3,2) 25 Begin anew (7) 26 Standard monetary unit of Honduras — palmier (anag.) (7) 27 E.g. ‘to boldly go’ (5,10)
Rules for Pinwheels:
Poor excuse for Horscopes We didn’t have any room for horoscopes this week, didn’t want to cut any of the LOVELY, LOVELY content. So here for you is a horoscope for all months in form of, one word each, or a few more:
Enter the numbers 1–5 into the grid so that each number appears precisely once in each row and column. A greaterthan sign (>) between two cells indicates that one number must be larger than its neighbour.
Puzzles created by Dorian Lidell
January - Finished. February - Wet. March - M. April - pepper spray. May - spacious? June - too much double cream. July - All the cream turns to suntan lotion. August - I dunno, see May. Septemer - I don’t care I’m graduating. October - Christmas. November - Christmas. Fin.
Rules for Unequality: