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Let’s talk about sex ... Coming soon: the sex survey at UEA’s Student Newspaper Issue 280 Free Tuesday 19 February




CU in homophobia dispute University Jess Beech News reporter A Christian Union awareness event caused controversy last week after a guest speaker made allegedly homophobic comments. The event, held in the Union bar on 6 February, aimed to raise awareness of Christianity and allow students to discuss faith with members of the society. Onlookers claim one of the speakers deviated from the agreed topic of his speech and condemned gay marriage. This resulted in a number of informal and formal complaints from bar patrons who had to listen to the speaker’s views even though they were not attending the event, as the speaker was using a microphone. The Union’s LGBT+ officer who dealt with student complaints over the incident, met with UEA Christian Union shortly after to discuss the issue. The society issued an almost immediate apology for any offence caused. He said that the meeting helped to create a “positive understanding” between UEA Pride society and UEA Christian Union, and the societies are now working together to host a film event about faith



and sexuality. Nick Jones, president of UEA Christian Union, said: “From our point of view the meeting was incredibly positive. We look forward to continuing to build good relationships with the Union and LGBT+ community.” He stated that on issues of faith such as same-sex marriage, there is potential for a variety of individual religious beliefs and as such the society does not take any particular stance on the subject. “We believe that the example of Jesus was to love and respect every person, regardless of whether he agreed with their opinions, and we strongly encourage any member of the CU to do the same.” He continued: “we would like apologise to anyone who has felt unwelcome or judged at any of our meetings or events.” Jones also said that the speaker at the event discussed same-sex marriage “during a question and answer session intended to be related to the topic spoken on.” He said that the question was unrelated and unexpected, so the society “had not briefed the speaker on how to respond. In hindsight we would have asked our speaker not to answer questions on this issue before the event. We are sorry if anyone in the bar felt


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Inside: Over 1,000 condoms stolen from Union House Turn to page three to read more. that this view was forced upon them. We very much respect people’s right to choose not to listen, and will endeavour to do better at this in the future.” Union regulation does not currently require guests to have prior permission to speak at public bar events.



A Union Councillor plans to submit a new policy for review at Union Council which would require societies to notify the Union about events with guest speakers, and would need them to host events speaking speakers or debates in a private location.







Editor-in-chief | Amy Adams Managing Editor | Chris Teale Online Editor | Harry Slater Deputy Online Editor | Luke Boobyer News | Philip Thomas & Liz Jackson Comment | Ciara Jack Global | Robert Norris Features | Lauren Cope Environment | Tim Miller Science & Tech | Rebecca Hardy Travel | Polly Grice Lifestyle | Emma Williamson Sport | Billy Sexton & Sam Tomkinson Copy Editors | Sidonie Chaffer-Melly & Charlotte Cox Chief Photographers | Elizabeth Margereson & Chloe Hashemi Distribution Manager | Steph Gover

Issue 280


News | Philip Thomas, Liz Jackson, Kirsten Powley, Chris Teale, Jess Beech, Lucy Jobber, Sidonie Chaffer-Melly, Rachael Lum, Harry Slater Comment | Jess Brown, Ben Beebe, Elliot Wengler, Zoe Jones, Johnnie Bicket, Peter Sheehan Global | Rachael Lum, Fiona Gray Features | Lauren Cope, Laura Philips Environment | Isabel Taylor, Chloe Turner, Ella Gilbert Science & Tech | Suhailah Ali, Dominic Burchnall, Rebecca Hardy Travel | Jessica Crisp, Polly Grice, Kirsten Powley, Abigail Goddard Lifestyle | Holly Whitaker, Emily-Claire Tucker, Sidonie Chaffer-Melly, Rhian Poole, Jess Beech, Amy Osterloh, Bex White Sport | Billy Sexton, Amelia Glean, Alison Mailloux, Chris Teale, Holly Wade Proofreaders | Charlotte Cox, Sidonie Chaffer-Melly, Amy Adams, Chris Teale, Harry Slater, Rachel Cutler, Caitlin Gray Photographers | Amy Osterloh, Rianna Hudson, Laura Smith, Tom Oliver, Whye Tchien Khor, Philip Thomas, Virginie Lassarre, Chris Teale

Editor-in-Chief applications open Applications for Concrete’s 2013-14 editor-in-chief position are open, and will close on 27 February. The position involves 30-35 hours a week running and editing the newspaper, managing other editors, answering emails and helping to maintain a presence in the office. Candidates should have strong organistion and communication skills. with experience in writing and editing.



To apply please email Amy at concrete. including: • A 750-word proposal on your ideas for the newspaper, including priorities and improvements. • A mock front page created in InDesign. • A copy of your CV. Please get in touch if you have any questions.

The Editor’s Column I’m sure it will quickly become apparent that this week’s theme in Concrete is pictures of animals. And you’ll be happy to hear that we’re not talking about ominous pictures of horses followed by a Findus lasagne or a sinister-looking dinner lady. No, this week we have articles in News and Comment looking at the recent article published by UEA’s own Dr. Brett Mills, criticising David Attenborough documentaries of not representing the wide-array of sexual activity in the animal kingdom. Cue the entire Concrete office cooing over pictures of gay penguins and cuddling lions. As if that wasn’t enough, Travel’s Photography Corner features an actual

live baby elephant. It’s almost too much for our hearts to take (the sexuality of the parent elephant remains unconfirmed). You can find even more pictures at In other exciting news, we recently reached our 400th contributor online, which was celebrated with a resounding cheer and another round of tea. Finally, if you’re interested in running for an editorial position next year, don’t hesitate to get in touch with any questions or for advice. Being an editor is hard work but a lot of fun, and it has easily been one of the best things about my time at UEA. Peace out, Amy Adams Editor-in-Chief

Letter to the Editor Dear Editor, I read with some concern the article by Livvy Brown on the rape and murder of a student from Delhi published on 22 January 2012. While there is no doubt that gender inequity and violence against women is a serious problem in India, her contention that “In the developed world, past divisions seem unthinkable now. Progress, both political and social, has brought us so far from where we once were. In India, as in so many developing countries, we can observe that very same trend occurring” is reminiscent of old fashioned orientalism and Euro centrism. Indeed statistics reveal that the conviction rate for rapes in India and the U.K. are not that different (hovers around 26%). Also in the “developed countries” of Scandinavia such as Sweden only 10 to

Tweet of the Week Dwayne Rapley #7 @DwayneRapley

15% of rapes are ever reported and in a third of the reported rapes the victims are under the age of 15. ( rape-and-sex-offences.html). Therefore her statements are factually incorrect as well as objectionable. The first line of this article “India is a country steeped in staunchly conservative tradition” has limited resonance for most parts of urban India (where nearly 400 million Indians live). Also India is a large, diverse and complex country. Miss Brown should have researched a little bit on India before painting the whole country with her misogynistic brush. Thanks for your time. Best wishes, Dr Sreepana Ghosh Survey Research Manager

Contact Us Union House University of East Anglia Norwich NR4 7TJ 01603 593 466

If UEA doesn’t do a Harlem shake by next week I’ll be unimpressed Editor’s Note: It has! Check out the video at Editorial inquiries / complaints Got a story?

Concrete welcomes all letters and emails, so please don’t hesitate to get in touch. Letters should be addressed to the editor-in-chief, and include contact details. All emails should be sent to We will consider anonymous publication, and reserve the right to edit for length and clarity. Anonymous article submissions are permitted. Opinions expressed are not necessarily those of the newspaper. No part of this newspaper may be reproduced through any means without the express permission of the editor, Amy Adams. Published by UUEAS Concrete Society ©2013 Concrete BMc ISSN 1351-2773



Campus safe sex station vandalised University Liz Jackson News editor The safe sex station in Union House has been closed down pending relocation as a result of several incidents of vandalisation and the theft of over 1,000 condoms last week. The culprits, who witnesses believe to be students from City Academy, allegedly vandalised the station on several occasions between Friday 8 and Tuesday 12 February. They reportedly damaged leaflets, chlamydia tests, condoms and lube, including littering stolen condoms from campus along Bluebell Road towards Tesco. The station was restocked following vandalisation last weekend, only to be attacked again on Monday evening.

Issue 280


Support for Syrian students at UEA

A group of young teenagers wearing City Academy uniform then returned to the station on Tuesday evening and were asked to leave by Union security. The Safe Sex station is part of a scheme on campus that has given out over 8,000 free condoms at UEA since November. The Union’s LGBT+ Officer Richard Laverick spoke to Concrete, expressing his dismay at the “childish” behaviour of the perpetrators, commenting that it was “a shame that this facility for our students has to be closed down temporarily because of non-students.” Laverick added that he has written to the Head Teacher of the Academy requesting an apology, and is in the process of relocating the station to “somewhere quiet, discrete, but also accessible.”

Will Gladman

87 people were killed and more than 150 critically injured at the University of Aleppo after goverment forces bombarded the area. University Philip Thomas News editor

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Termly rates for SAM and club membership fees University Kirsten Powley News reporter SAM sports insurance is now available to buy for a single semester rather than the full academic year after an amendment to Policy 988, making clubs more accessible to all students. International students and students who start courses in January that end following the Autumn semester previously had to pay more than the length of their time at UEA for SAM membership.

An exchange student contacted the Union of UEA Students with concerns of how expensive this would be over all, sparking the change. Union Finance Officer Joe Levell, who proposed the amendment, said: “It is a really positive move for any student whose course ends after the Autumn semester as they would have had to pay for a whole year’s SAM membership despite only being here for one semester. “Now these students will find sport more accessible and hopefully feel encouraged to get involved in the Union’s clubs.”

Union Council approved a motion to support Syrian students at UEA whose financial arrangements are affected by the civil war in Syria. Proposals include lobbying the University to waive fees and expand hardship funding for Syrian students. The BBC claims that over 600 Syrian students currently attend UK universities, of whom four study at UEA, according to figures published on the University’s website. Many Syrian students in the UK are struggling with the emotional and financial pressures arising from the civil war, which has jeopardised their funding sources. Consequently many students face increasingly insecure financial circumstances, and some have been expelled from UK universities because they were unable to pay academic fees. The United Nations estimates that since March 2011 more than 60,000 people have been killed in the conflict between forces loyal to Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad and his opponents, whilst over 670,000 refugees have fled the country. The Council for Assisting Refuge Academics revealed that students and academic staff in Syria have been targeted by Assad supporters, with

military authorities using universities as prisons. The motion asked for assurances from the university that Syrian students will not be expelled or penalised for financial reasons. Additionally, it urgently recommends that UEA implements a fee waiver for all Syrian students, and expands the hardship fund for Syrian students struggling with living expenses. Lastly, the motion proposes support for Syrian students encountering difficulties with visa arrangements. Union Council passed the motion on Monday 11 with 50 votes in favour, 10 against and three abstentions. The Union’s International officer and motion proposer Astrid Simonsen welcomed the decision, saying: “I am really happy that the motion was passed by Union Council, showing clearly that the UEA student body are willing to show solidarity with peers in a very difficult situation.” She explained: “Securing fee waivers and other support for our Syrian students is crucial, as some or all of them may not be able to finish their degree otherwise. As international officer it is great to see that UEA students are willing to ask the university to spend money on helping them, which gives the Union a much stronger negotiating mandate on behalf of the Syrian students.”


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Fourth assault on campus University Chris Teale Managing editor

An anti-fascist protest outside the Greek Embassy in London (flickr: sierraromeo)

Union declares solidarity with Greek anti-fascist movement University Sidonie Chaffer-Melly News reporter The Union of UEA Students (UUEAS) has made the decision to show solidarity with the anti-fascist movement in Greece. The motion was passed 50 votes to four in favour, with 10 abstentions. It was proposed by student Ioannis Toutountzis, who stated: “Speaking from first-hand experience, the situation in Greece due to the economic crisis which has given rise to fascist groups such as

Golden Dawn is quite alarming.” Toutountzis continued: “I believe that the student body has a duty to speak out against these unjust acts of violence and hate speech, and to recognise the efforts of movements that courageously oppose them.” The Union has resolved to mark their support by recognising the efforts of the Greek movement, condemning the rightwing extremist group Golden Dawn, and writing an open letter to KEERFA, the United Movement Against Racism and the Fascist Threat.

Music School to become UEA Music Centre University Rachael Lum News reporter Music will continue to feature at UEA despite the closure of the school, according to head of MUS, Professor John Charmley. From the academic year 2014/2015 onwards, the Music building will house UEA’s Music Centre, supervised by Dr. Sharon Choa, its director of music. Scholarships will be available to UEA students interested in receiving lessons from tutors and refining their musical skills. There will also be

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many opportunities to take part in the University orchestra or choir. At least four music events will be organised on campus and in the city centre each year, such as the annual Christmas concert, as well as collaborations with the university’s orchestra in residence, the Chamber Orchestra Anglia. Charmley said: “The Music Monitoring group, set up to ensure that student needs would be looked after, is very happy with the way that this is happening in the School so that what is happening with the Music Centre has in no way detracted from the student experience.”

A teenager was attacked by a man on Sunday morning near the UEA campus. The assault took place outside the Sportspark between 2am and 2.15am. The 18-year-old victim was with friends when they were approached by two men. They became abusive and then punched the victim in the face, when he then fell to the floor and was kicked. The victim suffered swelling and a bloody nose, and police are appealing for any witnesses. When asked about the incident by Concrete, the UEA Security Lodge were initially unaware it had taken place but said they would be looking into it. Dean of Students Dr Annie Grant told Concrete: “We are very concerned about

any assault that takes place on campus and are doing everything we can to assist the police with their enquiries. “The matter will be raised at the next Student Safety Group meeting when we will review the overall incidence of assaults on campus and discuss with the representatives of the police and UEA Security who attend the meetings to see if there is more that we do to improve the security of the UEA campus. “Meanwhile, we urge all students to continue to be vigilant.” Police ask that anyone with information contact PC Scott Malcolmson at Earlham Police Station on 101. Alternatively, you can call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. The assault is the fourth to take place on or near campus during this academic year.

Tory councillor cautions student Facebook group University Philip Thomas News editor A UEA student and Conservative councillor for the Hellesdon ward of Broadland District Council has warned members of UEA Conservatives against expressing party comments on their open Facebook group. Councillor Danny Buck said: “I want to remind members that is isn’t a private space. People can join this group who aren’t of the party, while the association is officially linked. Therefore any party comments can be used against us. As someone who has recently been ambushed by the left I assure you it isn’t fun.” Mr Buck’s remark comes after he was criticised for yawning loudly, laughing and making “facetious comments” during a debate regarding Broadland Council job redundancies on 24 January. He subsequently apologised, telling the Eastern Daily Press: “I’ve tried to carry on with council work as best as I can. It was a real yawn. It was coincidental. I have been finding it hard to sleep recently - it was unfortunate timing. I have a lot of respect for staff at Broadland District

Council who do a wonderful job under intense pressure. My slip on this occasion was not something intended or one I intend to repeat.” One group member responded to Mr Buck’s Facebook comment, saying: “who really cares what the Left has to say? In politics being slandered is an inevitability.” Meanwhile another member remarked: “So, members of the UEA conservatives are not allowed to discuss their ideology in case of an ambush by the Left? I proudly announce my conservative ideals.”



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UEA lecturer defends Attenborough criticism University Lucy Jobber News reporter A Film and Television lecturer at the University of East Anglia has recently hit the headlines after publishing a study regarding the nature documentaries of well-loved naturalist and broadcaster David Attenborough. The study by Dr. Brett Mills focused on three BBC wildlife documentaries created by Attenborough: The Life of Birds, The Life of Mammals and Life in the Freezer. Mills states: “The central role in documentary stories of pairing, mating and raising offspring commonly rests on assumptions of heterosexuality within the animal kingdom. This is despite a wealth of scientific evidence which demonstrates that many nonhuman species have complex and changeable forms of sexual activity, with heterosexuality only one of many possible options.” His paper aimed to address aspects of animal courtship which have previously been left undocumented, such as same-sex parenting, promiscuity and homosexuality within the animal kingdom. Mills looked in particular at the commentary of the popular series of nature documentaries voiced by Attenborough, proposing that “voiceovers tell the audience how to make sense of what is being seen,” which he implied was presented largely through human cultural assumptions. Mills also used two examples in

Gay pride? (Source: Image Broker/Rex Features) relation to Attenborough’s commentary which described a male chimp embrace as a gesture of “friendly affection”, and circling ritual of male sandpiper birds as “aggressive”, rather than behaviour assimilated with male sexual desire. Mills has received criticism from certain sections of the media. Writing on the Mail Online, Richard Littlejohn described him as “some mad academic”, writing: “The militant homosexual lobby never give up. Having won gay

marriage, they simply move on to other targets. Even the saintly David Attenborough is under attack, accused of ignoring ‘gay’ animals in his acclaimed documentaries.” Responding to some of the negative commentary in the press, Dr. Mills told Concrete: “The coverage of the story shows how some media outlets still have trouble accepting homosexuality. I’ve been accused of being a member of some lobby or having an agenda, and one

newspaper reporter asked me outright if I was gay. Do you have to be part of a lobby to care about fairness? Can only gay people fight for gay rights? Such reporting shows that debates about the representation of homosexuality are ongoing and as important as ever.” The article, “Animals Went in Two by Two: Heteronormativity in Television Wildlife Documentaries” is published in the European Journal of Cultural Studies this February.

Campus Kitchen toss off for pancake day University Chris Teale Managing editor

Chris Teale

Campus Kitchen held a pancake race in the Square to mark Pancake Day, with a number campus catering staff taking part despite the cold conditions. The owners of Zest, Blend, Café Direct and Vista on campus spent around half an hour racing each other, to the surprise and amusement of students and staff in the area. The race began at Zest and saw participants first put on an apron and hat before they ran a lap of the Square while tossing a pancake in a frying pan. The first to return and remove their hat and apron was the winner, with all the race times recorded. A number of staff members took part, including Assistant Manager

Pete McNulty, who sported some very fashionable pink socks into which he tucked his trousers for extra speed. The overall winner of the race was assistant departmental catering manager Danny Huthwaite, who won the grand prize of a bag of Wotsits crisps and a trophy for his tossing skills. After the race, McNulty said Campus Kitchen were pleased with the event and that they hoped that it would help show students their mission to enjoy food and have fun at the same time. “It was brilliant,” he said. “I think everyone had a good time. “We always want to show that we’re not stuffed shirts; we’re out there to be having a laugh and have a fun time with food.” To find out more about Campus Kitchen and their work at UEA, go to



Issue 280


The Catholic Church: is ‘modernity’ really the right word? Jess Brown Comment writer The world is reeling from the news broken on Monday morning: Pope Benedict XVI is resigning from his post as head of the Catholic Church. He is the first Pope to resign in 598 years. The news has been extremely controversial, yet I can’t help but feel that what the world is viewing as scandal is simply a really old guy retiring from a job which he is no longer fit to perform. It’s hardly surprising that the reason given for his resignation is old age and ill-health; upon his appointment eight years ago, he was the oldest Pope in 300 years and turns 86 in April. Plenty of people have been hailing this as a sign of the Catholic Church’s move towards modernity because, of course, the Catholic Church is well-known for its progressiveness. It seems highly unlikely that change is going to come about by appointing a different old guy as leader of an institution that has been under scrutiny

in the last few years for its archaic attitudes towards issues such as birth control and homosexuality, as well various sexual abuse scandals. None of those tipped to take on the job offer anything particularly new. The highlight of this scandalous news has to be the internet’s reaction. Various tweets and articles have had me chuckling for hours, my favourite being a fake Twitter account for Benedict XVI simply tweeting “cba” a few hours after the announcement was made. The Guardian’s Dean Burnett has composed an amusing application for the papacy, addressing his personal statement “Dear Sir/Madam/Holy Ghost”, a technique I think I might adopt for all future job applications. I can’t say that the question of the future of the leadership of the Catholic Church is one that will be keeping me awake at night. I react to its archaic practices the same way one might react to a racist grandparent: roll your eyes and tweet about it when they say something particularly ridiculous.

A fortunate EBacc U-turn Ben Beebe Comment writer Once again, the bespectacled reformhappy juggernaut that is Michael Gove has attracted near-universal criticism this past week. The secretary of state for education has not only been accused of running smear campaigns against political doubters via the Twitter account @toryeducation, but also undertook a spectacular U-turn on the proposed English Baccalaureate scheme. The scheme had been intended to introduce more rigorous qualifications to replace the current “dumbed-down” system. The proposal was met with popular criticism on moral and political grounds and condemned by Labour, the Lib Dems, and exams regulator Ofqual. In a speech to the Commons on 7 February he admitted that his plan to replace the GCSE entirely was “a bridge too far”. Instead, Gove now plans to refine the existing familiar GCSE system by “restoring rigour” to the examinations progress. Greater depth of understanding in the core subjects of English, maths and the sciences, and a reduction in the time spent on other subjects such as music,

drama and physical education. Gove also plans to scrap the modular, twotiered, semi-coursework based nature of existing qualifications, in favour of a system which advocates an entirely linear framework with singular examinations at the conclusion of each course.

While it is refreshing to see Gove becoming less pig-headed in his policymaking, his overarching goal is much less than radical than he would have us believe. Removing the modular aspect essentially removes more chances for students to achieve, especially those who

are less academically gifted. A poor performance in one exam leaves no contingency for pupils to recover their grade. This, coupled with Gove’s plans to reduce time spent on arts subjects, has led to concerns of a narrowing of the curriculum, further marginalisation of creative subjects and a lack of diversification in pupil aspirations. Ed Miliband criticised the plans as “squeezing creativity out of the curriculum”, with general Labour opinion noting the lack of vocational improvements and apprenticeship opportunities. Gove has managed to lose all credibility. His claims that he was inspired by Jade Goody and her educational “failings” are in poor taste. Espousing Goody as some sort of working-class hero highlights how painfully out of touch he is with the plight of working class students. The scrapping of the EBacc does mean a retention of the recognisability of the GCSE brand, something which the International Baccalaureate has struggled with against the long standing A-Level. Yet the proposed curriculum changes are Jurassic in their nature, and it is difficult to see how they will create universal, equal opportunity for all.


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Gove’s foolish politics Elliot Wengler Comment writer

should use taxpayer money to buy the Queen a new yacht, and trying to use public money to buy every school a new bible. The other week,

he was accused of using his staff to bully his media enemies via Twitter. However, perhaps he should remain in the Department of Education. He has

Michael Gove needs to work out what he’s doing. Is he trying to be an impactful secretary of state for education, or is he just trying to attract attention? Last week he tried to improve his status by going to the House of Commons to admit that his attempt to abolish GCSEs was foolish a step and too far. When people whine about GCSEs and schools, policies that please populist and sensationalist fears can happen easily and baselessly. It was a leak to the Daily Mail last summer that revealed this mandate-less policy start. Michael Gove decided to suddenly and undemocratically abolish GCSEs, and has had to provide another addition to the list of U-turnedupon policies for the government by admitting this was a mistake. Michael Gove’s other famous moments include suggesting that we

Zoe Jones Comment writer When it emerged this week that our very own Brett Mills, head of FTM, had raised controversy over his criticism of wildlife documentaries and, in his opinion, the inaccurate portrayal of homosexuality, it coloured me intrigued. First of all I had never really thought about the complexities of animal relationships in any great detail. Of course I was not a stranger to domestic pets going at it any which way they can. It is certainly not uncommon to see animals of the same sex engaging in, erm … sexual relations, but then it’s also not uncommon for domestic pets to go for inanimate objects. In fact I recently watched a video on YouTube of a tortoise humping a Croc. Until recently I had always understood that we were the only animals to have sex for pleasure and that to other animals, sex was simply a process in the system to carry on the species, but perhaps it was narrow-minded of me to think so. In fact it has been proven that both dolphins and bonobo monkeys have sex for pleasure. Should the affections of other animals really be a serious consideration? In the light of the recently legalised samesex marriages, perhaps we should look further into the wide array of same-sex

party-leadership ambitions, meaning that David Cameron had to be tactical in his cabinet placement. As Education secretary, Michael Gove’s best shot is actually to do very little other than modernise the curriculum in places and make it seem as if school funding had been done well in spite of the cuts. It boggles the mind as to why he is so willing to make gaffes and implement a very right-wing agenda on schools, seemingly just to make it look like he is enacting on the fears of Daily Mail readers. The Department of Education does not actually do much; it does not set curriculum, it does not choose the children or teachers per school, it is just a centralised administrative bureaucracy for legislation-shoving. Michael Gove can keep being foolish and generate archives of bad publicity if he wants to. He can do nothing and only make policies that involve private money. Cameron cleverly put him somewhere that he cannot act in a leader-in-waiting way. And if his record is something to go on, he never will.

Homosexuality in animals should not just be accepted, but explored relations which exist in the wild. Some argue that showing samesex relationships in animals in wildlife documentaries would confuse children

about the “normality” of relationships, but what is the definition of normal? Children need to know that homosexuality is a natural thing and what better way of

expressing this than the representation of gay animals across the broad realm of the animal kingdom? Also, it has often been found that children are more accepting of different sexualities than adults. Inca and Rayas are a gay couple that have recently adopted a child of their own. After six years of building a nest together and facing the heartbreak when no egg came along, the zookeepers decided to give them an abandoned egg to care for. Oh, did I mention that Inca and Rayas are penguins? This is not the first case of homosexuality in penguins, nor is it the first case of adoptive, gay penguin parents. Two males called Roy and Silo adopted an egg at Central Park Zoo in 1999. There was also the case of two male African penguins Buddy and Pedro. However as African penguins are an endangered species, zookeepers decided to put them in separate enclosures to encourage them to mate with female partners. So should we be looking in greater detail into the particulars of animal relationships? I probably don’t know enough zoology to have a well-considered opinion. But as acceptance of all kinds of human relationships grows, equivalents in the animal world should not be ignored.

Comment Johnnie Bicket Comment writer The CIA has finally come clean about their unmanned drone operations in the Arabian Peninsula. With the support of the local government, drone attacks have frequently been launched from covert bases in Saudi Arabia, targeting AlQaeda training camps in the rural areas of neighbouring Yemen. The White House has defended the operation, claiming that it “saves American lives” and is a more effective method of eliminating the leadership structure of terrorist organisations. On paper, drone strikes seem to be a fairly decent method of conducting warfare; they minimise human casualties on both sides due to the lack of a pilot and the increased accuracy of the weapons systems that can pinpoint individual houses where terrorist suspects are hiding. They are also significantly cheaper than fighter jets, with a unit cost of around $4m. However, I can never get past the inherently disturbing nature of the military drone, with its windowless control dome and single 360 degree rotating camera. The method with which drone warfare has been employed cannot really be considered ethical. Civilian casualties still occur, and because these


Issue 280

We should be wary of Obama’s dehumanised drone warfare

strikes are not the same as manned operations, there are different protocols about obtaining permission to carry out drone attacks. The orders come straight from the White House, signed off by Obama. They do not need to go through the channels of the Afghan, Pakistani or Yemeni governments, whose people are generally the targets. Obama does not need congressional approval, and he

has until recently shown little interest in garnering international support for his tactics. The decision to disclose the CIA operations in the Arabian Peninsula is likely part of an effort to ease pressure from civil liberties unions in America who claim that the administration is operating without the knowledge or consent of the electorate. After American citizens


in Yemen were targeted and killed by drones, it looks a lot like extra-judicial assassinations of protected individuals, something which previous presidents have shied away from. Obama came to power in 2008 amidst praise that he was bringing “change” and “hope”. I suggest that the use of drones, particularly against US citizens, some as young as 16, is not congruent with the image he has garnered for himself. Even President Bush baulked at extra-judicial killings in such a manner. Modern warfare should attempt to exclude civilian casualties, yet repeatedly drones have destroyed property and killed innocent people, and specific cases of civilian deaths rarely receive much news coverage. Dehumanising acts of conflict to this extent further remove the reality of the situation: a man on the ground presses a button, people die in a remote location. If we continue to wage war in this manner, we have little chance of gaining the vital support needed amongst the communities we are supposed to be “defending” and “liberating”.

The acrimony of matrimony Peter Sheehan Comment writer It is good advice that one should not intrude on private grief. Unfortunately, private grief can sometimes become very public. The ugly case of former energy secretary, Chris Huhne, and his ex-wife, Vicky Pryce, is a present example. He admits perverting the course of justice by getting Pryce to take his speeding points; she blames him, and is putting forward the intriguing and seldom-used defence of marital coercion. All too often, these court battles are as acrimonious as they are tedious. But if one can stiffen the sinews and look beyond the nuclear-powered egos detonating inside Southwark crown court, there is something more instructive to be gleaned from the case of Regina versus Huhne and Pryce. It is largely agreed that Huhne has fallen far. As one of the more combative and ambitious Lib Dem ministers, he was seen as a likely replacement for Nick Clegg. Indeed, he has stood for the party leadership twice before. What we hear much less about is the magnitude of Pryce’s

descent. Described by the Guardian as “Nigel Slater’s more intelligent sister”, she was the first female chief economic adviser at the Department of Business. She has held a number of academic fellowships, and has written on economic issues in the national press. She was once one of those now-vilified civil servants who earn more than the prime minister. Arguably her contribution has been far more significant than that of a junior minister and twicefailed leadership candidate whose career never matched the scale of his vaulting ambition. I do not wish to exonerate Pryce; her guilt or otherwise will be decided by the courts. But we must guard against the demeaning cliché of the spurned woman. It belittles both Pryce and her achievements. That her husband is depicted so differently only heightens the injustice. The second noteworthy point is the nature of her defence. Created in 1925, marital coercion is available only to a wife or former wife. The husband must have been present at the time the offence was committed, and though it does not require physical threats, loyalty alone is insufficient. It does not apply to same-sex relationships. In 1977, the Law Commission suggested that it was,

perhaps, a little old fashioned. That is still true today. But rather than abolishing it, would it not be better to extend it to everyone? We could call it familial coercion instead. To do so would acknowledge that all sorts of relationships can sometimes be messy things. The law needs to recognise this, but not just in ways imagined back in

the 1920s. Political scandals and high-profile trials are undoubtedly dull affairs. Nevertheless, it is worth bearing in mind that they can tell us as much about our society as they do about those unfortunate enough to be caught up in them. If you can stomach the bickering, that is.


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Mexico through the eyes of the international media Rachael Lum Global writer Mexico’s portrayal in the international media has been marred due to the number of domestic challenges the country has been facing. In response toward this, people from both within and outside the country are seeking to promote the more positive sides of what is a historically rich culture. This will no doubt be difficult, given how vehemently Mexico has been associated with drug wars and violence. In 2006, its government took a military stance against drug cartels which inadvertently worsened the situation. Only in February this year did the newly-inaugurated President Enrique Peña Nieto announce a switch to non-violent reforms in favour of social programmes. Mexico also faces the issue of human rights violations, such as police brutality, torture and extrajudicial killings. The most recent humanitarian problems involve the deaths and disappearances of journalists. The Committee to Protect Journalists estimated that in 2012 alone 70 journalists were killed and 232 were imprisoned for matters related to organised crime. Since then, Mexico has become a touchstone for films such as Traffic and Savages, as well as documentaries like Reportero. Representations of the country in the medium of film are often riddled with corruption, bloodbaths, bullet shells and widespread emigration.

On 31 January 2013 the state-owned Pemex (Mexican Petroleum) suffered an explosion in Mexico City where 37 people lost their lives and over 100 were injured. The news sparked much debate online as to whether the country is ‘safe’ and if there is more to the explosion than what has been revealed by the media. Netizens are using social media to lift this murky veil. Twitter saw a new hash tag recently called #ForTheLoveOfMexico where people have been posting their thoughts on why they love the country and its forgotten beauty. The Mexican Report, a blog focusing on the more positive news in the country has seen a steady rise in followers since its conception three years ago, proving that people are tired of being bombarded by distressing news. Whether these attempts will help to improve how the country is perceived by the Western media is debatable. In 2012, a colourful documentary Hecho En Mexico was released, which featured the country’s rich culture and humanity. Sadly, it was criticised for supposedly skating over and trivialising its politics, even though its intentions of promoting its culture were already made clear. It seems that changing the view the global media has set for Mexico over the past decade will be tough, but hopefully with time the same form of media that has portrayed one side of Mexico’s image would give its other, more humane side, the fair acknowledgment it deserves.

Egypt: two years on from Mubarak’s removal Fiona Gray Global writer On the eve of 25 January, people across the world marked the two year anniversary of the Egyptian uprising which led to the overthrow of President Muhammad Hosni Mubarak. His authoritarian regime, which had lasted 30 years, was toppled by popular protest which spread across Egypt in early 2011. Yet today, two years on, the scenes on the streets of major cities such as Cairo, Suez and Alexandria are almost identical to the images broadcast on news channels, Facebook and Twitter in the midst of the 2011 revolt. Water cannons and tear gas have made a reappearance as the police try to break up the protests spreading across the country. The continued feeling of discontent and public dissatisfaction towards the ruling powers is becoming increasingly apparent. In 2011, the people of Egypt united in protest against poverty, the mistreatment and torture of citizens by the security service and the Presidential use of the emergency law. Khaled Said was one of the many men who were tortured and brutally murdered by the security service. Images of his injured body were spread across the internet, going viral. He became a key motivation for the Egyptian people to stand up and fight for justice and equality. Twitter and Facebook pages such as “Kullena Khaled Said” (translated as “we are all Khaled Said”) grew in popularity and enabled anyone with internet access to join in the political debate breaking down barriers of age, gender and class. It also enabled the planning of a number of protests, including 25 January, that would eventually lead to Mubarak’s resignation.

Today, the protests differ in motivation from city to city, but it’s clear that they are directed towards President Muhammad Morsi. Morsi is a member of the Muslim Brotherhood and the first apparently democratically elected president of Egypt. The protests have also been in response to the so-called “new” constitution that was rushed through parliament and maintains much of the authoritarian character that Mubarak’s own constitution possessed. Gerrymandering took place during elections so that affluent areas gained more representation than poorer antiMorsi areas, and during the constitutional referendum voters who thought to vote against the regime were not allowed to enter polling stations, making these legitimate voting systems a simple tool of the political elite. A viral video released after protests on 1 February illustrates the lack of change the country has experienced over the last two years. The video shows a middle aged protester being beaten and stripped naked by riot police. The protester, Hamada Saber, was later made to appear on Egyptian television where he was forced to state that the police were in fact trying to help him and that the protesters were really to blame. This clear illustration of police brutality and persuasive tactics has fuelled many more to take to the streets. In other cities families are fuelled by the anger of injustice toward loved ones, the implementation of Islamic law and the clearly underhand and undemocratic tactics of Morsi and his government. In the last week more than 50 have been killed and many more injured in the protests that do not seem to be ending anytime soon. The full methods that Morsi’s government may use in reaction to the continuing dissatisfaction in Egypt is yet to be seen.

Features Living with tinnitus 19/02/13

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Features editor Lauren Cope speaks to Joshua Rayman about his fundraising activties for the British Tinnitus Association From 11 February, the British Tinnitus Association (BTA) ran Tinnitus Awareness Week to support a condition that affects 10% of the UK population. According to their press release: “The focus for Tinnitus Awareness Week 2013 is the role that tinnitus support groups can play. “Tinnitus support groups offer a vital lifeline for people around the country, offering a chance to share experiences, find out how others cope and discuss latest information on treatment.” There are an estimated six million people suffering from the condition nationwide, and the aim is for more of those suffering to seek advice on how to handle the condition. Claire Arthur, Groups Co-Ordinator for the British Tinnitus Association comments that: “Despite 10% of the population experiencing tinnitus, it is a frequently misunderstood condition and for the most severely affected, it can be an isolating one. “Tinnitus support groups can offer a lifeline, enabling people to share experiences, find different ways of coping and begin to help others to do the same.” Tinnitus sufferers experience a ringing, buzzing, roaring or clicking

sound that seems to start in the head or ears. According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), 12% of men who are 65-74 years of age are affected by tinnitus. Tinnitus is identified more in white people.

“As it’s a condition that currently has no cure, the work of the charity focuses on helping those to deal with the condition” There are two types of tinnitus: subjective and objective. Subjective is where only the sufferer can hear the noise, and is the most common type. This is caused by problems in the inner and outer ear. The other type is objective tinnitus, where your doctor can hear the noise after they do an examination. This can be caused by a blood vessel problem. Although some sufferers find the condition leaving with time and age, others may have to resort to medical or surgical treatment. Temporary tinnitus can be caused by a numbers of factors including a cold, a head injury, or

prolonged exposure to a loud noise commonly after music concerts. Some experience it so severely that it impacts with their daily activities. UEA student Joshua Rayman isn’t entirely sure when he started suffering with tinnitus. “As a rough estimation, my first memory of it was after a gig in Skegness in 2007, which lead to a temporary bout of it for a few days. After I started university it started to not go away.” Unlike many other sufferers, Josh says that tinnitus doesn’t affect his daily life much. “Day-to-day it doesn’t intrude too much on my life, thankfully. Probably the most frequent thing is I tend to avoid silence whenever I can, particularly at night time when I have to leave TV or music playing, otherwise I tend to focus on the sound of my tinnitus instead.” Being heavily involved with motorsport, Josh decided to get involved with the BTA to raise awareness for other drivers. “Before I took a break from racing to come to university, I never took care for my hearing or even really knew I should be. So aside from raising money for the charity to help out those affected more

by the condition than myself, I wanted to raise awareness of hearing protection at race circuits, particularly for the drivers.” A large part of his fundraising activities include running the Silverstone Half Marathon, which takes place on 3 March. So how is the fundraising going? “I’ve never run a fundraising campaign before, so I couldn’t really say. However, I am pleased by and appreciate every donation that comes in,” Josh comments. He aims to help the BTA minimise the impact tinnitus has on sufferer’s lives. “As it’s a condition that currently has no cure, the work of the charity focuses on helping those with the condition to deal with it and minimise it’s effect.” The support given by the BTA to those with tinnitus relies entirely on donations, receiving no funding. If you would like to help in raising awareness of tinnitus, get in touch with Emily Broomhead at You could also contact her by phone on 0114 250 9933, and if you would like to donate, visit If you would like to sponsor Josh, visit his Just Giving page at http://www.


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Start your conversation Features writer Laura Phillips looks at a new campaign aiming to dispel stigma around mental health

It may shock you to learn that one in four people will develop a mental health issue at some point in their life. It will definitely shock you to learn that 90% of those people will feel they face stigma and discrimination as a result. It is for this reason that Time to Change have launched a new advertising campaign called Start Your Conversation. Time to Change is an “anti-stigma campaign” run by mental health charities Mind and Rethink Mental Illness. They state their aim as: “to start a conversation ... or hopefully thousands of conversations,” and this is what their new adverts highlight. The adverts present the idea that conversation is integral to the wellbeing of those with mental health problems. There are several adverts showing the relationships between couples and parents and their children, someone in each pair having a mental illness. They describe the problems they have encountered through mental health and how their relationships have been successful due to talking and listening. Some are touching, some are

humorous but each story works to fight the stigma surrounding mental health and emphasises the campaign’s slogan: “It’s time to talk, it’s time to change”. Mental health issues can be a particular problem in university life. NHS studies show that mental health problems are more prevalent in students than in the general population. The stress of moving from your parents home to shared accommodation with strangers, the anxiety of balancing a heavy workload and a social life and the pressure of that ominous question – what will you do with your life? These are all factors that can affect the mental health of a student. As per Time to Change’s campaign, it can be hard to discuss mental health with other students, whether it concerns yours or theirs. Holly*, a UEA LDC student, has experienced this lack of conversation, and therefore lack of support, first-hand. “I’ve suffered with clinical depression for a long time, but in the second term of first year it became ten times worse. I just wanted to die.” Holly rarely left her bedroom, constantly feeling exhausted

and staying in bed. She rarely went to classes. “For two months I was a complete hermit. I felt so isolated. My new friends and flatmates didn’t ask me what was going on. They thought I was weird – how could I go from partying with them to a complete shell?” Luckily, her parents intervened and she was referred to a psychiatrist. However, Holly feels like a lot of pain could have been spared had someone talked to her. “My friends didn’t know how to speak to me. I was a different person to them.” Holly believes that campaigns such as Start Your Conversation are vital in educating people on the importance of a simple “how are you?” or “are you OK?” Holly adds: “Even a simple text message would have shown that someone cared.” Other UEA students have also recognised this necessity and are raising awareness via Mental Wealth, “a studentrun society which offers a student support group for those with mental health issues”. On the Union of UEA Students’ blog (, Amy Nield, Mental Wealth Awareness officer

for the society, has explained the facts about mental health issues: “People with mental health issues aren’t mad, or psychos. They’re normal students, teachers and staff who have an illness. They are valuable, fantastic members of our society.” She also stresses the importance of conversation and advises students to talk to flatmates and friends if they see them struggling. Amy also points out the various other support services that enable UEA students to start a conversation about their mental health. The UEA Medical Centre is a great way to get started with treatment. The University’s Counselling Service and Nightline both offer someone to talk to in a confidential way. The Mental Wealth society itself is also a good way to meet people with similar experiences. As well as these efforts to get people talking, there have been subtler workings in the mass media raising awareness about mental health issues. Silver Linings Playbook is a film that concentrates on the relationship between Pat, who has bipolar disorder, and Tiffany who has an

unnamed mental condition. Whilst the film conforms to the romantic comedy stereotype in many ways, the characters are easy to relate to and very funny. Kat, a student who has bipolar, said that the film made her cry because “the characters are like me. They’re not scary or ‘crazy’, they are just normal people”. Whilst there are many attempts to open up the topic of mental health without any prejudice, there may still be a way to go before people feel comfortable enough in these discussions to open up about any difficulties. After all, making those with mental health problems feel as though they can’t discuss, or disclose, them, is an issue that needs to be addressed. Kat added: “I should feel as free to talk about my mental health disorder as a person with arthritis would. They are both illnesses, just in different parts of the body.” For more information about the campaign, visit the Time to Change website at *Name changed by request.

Mental Health and Wellbeing Day Features editor Lauren Cope interviews Mental Health Co-Ordinator Lydia Pell about raising awareness Universities across the country will be holding a Mental Health and Wellbeing Day on 20 February. UEA’s Mental Health Co-Ordinator Lydia Pell told us some more. “It is on the 20th, and it’s going to be from 11am to 3pm in the Hive. Mental health advisers who work in higher education, like me, decided that we needed to do more about campaigning, raising awareness and reducing stigma. It’s our day to make a concerted effort to raise awareness.” However, it’s not just students with mental health problems that they expect to see. “We also see a lot of students who don’t really know how to look after themselves. They might not have a mental health problem, but might just need a little help, such as sleep hygiene or reducing stress around exams.” There will be plenty of stalls in the Hive from student-led groups to external organisations, including the UEA Counselling Service, UEA Headucate, The Matthew Project Youth Team, UEA


Wellb eing Team and Norfolk and Suffolk Foundation Trust, amongst others. Lydia comments that the stigma of a mental health diagnosis being a permanant issue needs to be dispelled. “In society we often see a diagnosis as a fixed thing, where it’s not. You aren’t necessarily born with a mental health diagnosis and that’s it - you might have a problem and so you learn strategies to cope with it, or you might be fine until you are 32 and then your mental health deteriorates. “This view that it is us and them, and that you either have it or you don’t is not true. We all have our culpabilities and could all have mental health difficulties, which is why I feel so strongly about reducing stigma.” Lydia also spoke about the effect that the media has on the perpetuation of these stereotypes. “I think the media has a huge part. Admittedly, they do sometimes do positive things, but it is far and few between.” She offers an example: “If there were an

incident in the community and they had a mental health diagnosis, they report it. Of course, some people with mental health do bad things, but people without mental health issues do equally bad things. “It scares people, and it also puts people off from disclosing information about themselves.” It’s easy to accept that the negative stigma surrounding mental health can often put off those suffering from reporting any issues they may be having, a problem that can be potentially dangerous. Lydia feels, however, we can break through this barrier. “The more it is talked about, and the more successful people that come forward and say ‘yes, I’ve got a great life, but I’ve got mental health issues as well’, the better. “I think in the health professions it’s a really big thing. It’s important to support students and people generally who work in them. Also, there are barriers for what is expected of students while on placement - having adjustments made for students

with mental health should be as easy as making adjustments for a wheelchair.” Although the Mental Health and Wellbeing Day is a special event, Lydia offers a wealth of help for students around campus. “One of our roles is to raise awareness, and another is one-to-one work with students who may have difficulties. That could be through self-refferal, GP refferal or friends referral. We also see people who are supporting a friend or housemate who may have stuff going on. “I also support the student run self help group for eating disorders and am starting to work with the NHS about better transitions for students in their services. We also manage the Disabled Student Allowance process, communicate with schools and advisers and help with exam arrangements.” There is plenty of help available on campus, but Lydia believes the problem is students actually making use of what is open to them. “We do see a lot of homesick students

where it does just become more than missing home. Managing money, managing lectures, self-directed study and being away from your usual support network are parts of a transition that sees many struggle.” Lydia advises that if you feel you need help, visiting her or going to the UEA Medical Centre is the best move. “Our GP practice here does have an urgent doctor system, which means you can be seen within an hour or two, and an out of hours system. Our GPs on campus are the best GPs I’ve ever worked with around mental health. “I would really encourage students them to see a doctor ASAP - even if they don’t do anything in the first session, they are getting to know the student.” If you feel like you need any help or advice, or you have a friend who you are concerned about, don’t hesitate to contact Lydia at or the Medical Centre on 01603 251600. Or you can pop in to the Mental Health and Wellbeing Day in the Hive on the 20th for more information.

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Issue 280



UK struggling to source renewable energy

Ella Gilbert Environment writer It could be said that the UK has a lot of commitments on its plate, such as aid, ethical sourcing and climate change. So meeting the target of sourcing 15% of our energy from renewable sources by 2020 is looking incredibly ambitious, so much so that even the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has admitted it. In 2009, the figure stood at an uninspiring 3%. It’s looking pretty dire in comparison to the leading examples of other European countries like Germany, Sweden, Denmark and Spain, whose fuel mix includes between 11-47% renewables. These countries will no doubt make more of a contribution to the EU’s target of 20% of overall energy consumption to come from renewables. There are certainly problems with renewable energy, but a lot of these are derived from the UK industry’s unwillingness to invest in new technology which would make renewables cheaper and increase uptake. Most small renewables such as micro-wind power, solar heating systems or small-scale hydro are financially unviable in the current economic conditions, which are of course

partly manufactured by companies (un)involved in the industry. Some technologies have more potential than others; solar photovoltaic (PV) for instance, is pretty unsuitable for the UK for obvious reasons, but there is an enormous amount of wind energy waiting to be exploited. Ask any wind-blown, vitamin D-deficient Scottish farmer. Where there is more space, there is undoubtedly more scope for renewables – farmers can be easily persuaded to erect a turbine on their land if it brings in revenue and provides free energy. The problem arises more in urban areas where planning permission is nigh on impossible to obtain, and Nimbyism (Not In My Back Yard) is even more of a problem than in quaint rural villages. Here, it makes more sense to employ other methods, such as reducing consumption and making efficiency savings. New, efficient houses are readily being built, such as the Thames Gateway development, but to replace all the inefficient housing stock in the UK will take quite some time – for now many people are stuck in inefficient, poorly insulated and single-glazed houses where you can see your breath (something many UEA students can sympathise with). Options like combined heat and

power (CHP) dramatically reduce energy consumption because waste heat from electricity generation is used as direct heat instead of being lost – this is only valuable if there is a heating demand nearby, however, and there are very few power stations located near, well, anything. To achieve those targets, a fair few more district heating and CHP facilities will need to be built, paying as little attention to the Nimby lobby as possible. Decentralised renewables can be incorporated into this rosy picture, providing extra energy on top of, say, gas electricity generation. It all sounds great, and starts to look a bit like the idyllic Scandinavia, where houses barely need to be heated in the Arctic winter, aside from a few problems: 1) although the technology exists, there is too little investment and motivation in this country to enable a mass roll-out; 2) political lifetimes are short, and investing in unpopular (expensive) policies is likely to deter most politicians; 3) it is going to be very hard to modify the National Grid to be able to handle renewables, which are notoriously unreliable at the wrong times (such as when the whole country needs a cup of tea after watching England lose at penalties). The infrastructure can’t cope with the

intermittency of renewable power as it stands, so it will take further investment to strengthen it. Added to this is the growing global demand for energy, as well as growing national demand. Efficiency savings are of course essential, but as soon as they are made it encourages people to increase their use because their energy bills get cut, and they can leave the TV on standby for three more hours without worrying about the cost. Although very few people are advocating a regression to the dark ages or some kind of nation-wide hippy commune, it will be necessary to reduce the amount of energy we use as well as boosting our renewable contribution. The need to cut consumption goes hand-in-hand with renewables, which is unfortunately the unpalatable truth.

The Common Room Nuclear Fizzle Isabel Taylor Environment writer There is a new trend on the rise when it comes to consumer choices and the reasons why we do things. There seems to be a view that rather than looking outwards and onwards, the way forward is looking back and recovering things that may have been lost or overlooked in our desperate attempts to globalise. I don’t know how everyone else sees this, but to my eyes it’s pretty refreshing. And for those who fancy the idea, you don’t have to look far. Norwich is teeming with these projects and I recently came across a very appealing one. The Common Room is an experiment to save a space and bring people together. It is a series of pop-up days, each with a programme of activities which happen throughout the morning and afternoon, such as trade schools, herbs for resilience, disruptive education, a book exchange, pod building, DIY events, a speaker’s corner, makerspace, origami and music and food workshops. There is also an inviting café which gives time and space to meet a variety of people. It is a known problem that the sheer number of churches in the UK (and Norwich is no exception) have made it difficult to maintain and preserve them all,

especially when many of them are out of use. This is why this particular project is, for lack of a better term, killing two birds with one stone. St Laurence’s Church on St Benedict Street is one such example. It was completely rebuilt in the 15th century and has remained intact with some interventions in the 19th and 20th centuries. It is a beautiful place, but is sadly unused and empty. As the description made on the Norfolk Churches Site states quite accurately, it is “a shell”. If it weren’t for the Churches Conservation Trust, this church would have most probably been demolished. But these charities cannot fill unused spaces when congregations are not happening anymore. Some may argue that spiritual and religious buildings may be obsolete due to the lack of interested parties in the specific faith. But this is not a question of religion, but more a question of elements that bring communities together – be it religion or a common space where interactions between people can occur. This is what the construction of social fabric is all about, and this is exactly what The Common Room is doing. On 23 February, a second pop-up day will be happening from 11am – 4pm with a variety of activities going on according to the programme.

Chloe Turner Environment writer According to the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC), the government believes that having nuclear power as part of the UK’s energy mix can help reduce carbon emissions, whilst still allowing a secure supply of energy. In 2010 it was determined that a set of new reactors were to be built by private companies, with the first proposed to be running by the end of the decade. Any new nuclear plants confirmed to be built will have had health risks, environmental impacts and economic costs fully assessed beforehand, as well as making sure the operator has set aside sufficient funds for the decommissioning of plants and waste disposal, at least according to DECC policy documents. However, there have been a number of setbacks to the programme. The latest was last week, when multinational utility company Centrica, better known under its trading names, British and Scottish Gas, withdrew investment from the nuclear rebuilding programme in the UK. From its statement, the company’s reasons included uncertainties surrounding the cost and time of construction. The company were involved in the

building of four new reactors, two at Sizewell in Suffolk and two at Hickley point in Somerset. Without Centrica’s investment, companies involved will have to look elsewhere to finance Centrica’s previous 20% share in these projects. This happened on the day when a report stated that the cost of cleaning up Sellafield would be £67.5bn. The run-down buildings and amounts of radioactive waste stored on site were also said to pose a risk to people and the environment. Furthermore, since Cumbria County Council and the local population rejected proposals for underground waste storage, there is nowhere to store high level radioactive waste, which is a problem for Sellafield and the further development of new reactor sites. Problems with investment occurred in the wake of the Fukushima disaster. German companies E.On and RWE dropped involvement in nuclear altogether, including their involvement on Anglesey and Bristol sites, where Hitachi took over. The government is still dedicated to going nuclear. But there are undeniable issues with nuclear energy development in the UK which investors – and the public – are understandably concerned by.

Science & Tech


Issue 280

Are some people born great?

Suhailah Ali Science writer Further research into savant syndrome could help to uncover the secrets of our potential. Extraordinary talent is easily recognisable. Talented writers are published, talented musicians join orchestras, talented athletes compete in international events. What is it that sets them apart? It is a combination of aptitude, genes predisposing people to

certain activities, practice, and years of training and hard work. In this light, the paradox of savant syndrome is startling: recognisably advanced skills acquired seemingly spontaneously, alongside mental impairment. Savant syndrome is commonly associated with autism, although this is not always the case. While a large number of savants are autistic, it is estimated that around 50% have isolated skills in the context of other developmental disorders, mental disabilities or injuries to the central nervous system. While the etiology remains largely unknown, there are common characteristics. Savant skills fall into three categories: 1) splinter skills, which include preoccupation with and memorisation of trivia, 2) talents, more highly-developed skills in a single area, such as art or music and 3) prodigious skill, exceptional talent beyond the range of normal functioning. Of the last category, there are probably less than 100 known people worldwide meeting this level of ability. Savants, like people with autism, appear to process the world in an unconventional way. Autistic children tend to focus on details and parts, ignoring contextualised meaning. This cognitive style could underpin savant skills, such as realistic drawings. Although they may ascribe no significance to the scene they are recreating, they would pay careful attention to the details. People who have

studied savants note two distinguishing traits: an extraordinary memory and almost instinctual understanding of their particular area of interest. Some researchers claim they have a more “literal” view of the world, accessing information which most of us process into holistic labels. Savants are naturally inclined towards structure and order, characteristics of the areas they excel in, namely arithmetic, music, art, calendar calculating and spatial skills. They are often obsessed by their interests, which hints at an intriguing possibility: is their talent a result of innate ability or exceptional attention? Brain imaging studies of savants are only beginning to provide insights into this elusive condition. Although people have been studying savants for decades, research was restricted to behavioural observations, psychological tests, examinations of post-mortem brains and case reports of neurological events. A recent study has confirmed the common association of savant activities with the right hemisphere of the brain. Published last year, a group of researchers conducted multimodal brain imaging studies on a prodigious artistic savant; they found distinct regions, including the amygdala and the caudate nucleus, to be enlarged, and certain neurotransmitters to be substantially reduced. These structures and chemicals are all involved in the neurobiology of


learning and memory. Previous case studies also commonly observed altered brain structure and utilisation of unusual neuronal pathways; the problem is that although some of these changes may be congenital, some could be due to the time spent practicing a particular skill, which is known to produce lasting alterations in the brain. We need more research. Multimodal imaging studies on larger samples, with varying skills, could help elucidate underlying brain mechanisms. Early diagnosis and continued observations could help disentangle the roles of nature and nurture. The appearance of savant-like skills in people with damage to the left hemisphere, and incredibly, people subjected to transcranial magnetic stimulation in this area, suggests that savants are not as atypical as they appear. Regions in the left hemisphere have been implicated in semantic processing and conceptual knowledge, which may have evolved to accelerate decision-making and learning. Inhibition of these areas could mimic the right-brain compensation often observed in savants. However, not everyone with left frontotemporal dementia will become a musician, and only four out of the 11 subjects under magnetic stimulation had markedly improved drawing skills. Understanding the savant brain could help reveal what it takes to be exceptional.

Printer error: lunar base jam It’s not just for Richard III Dominic Burchnall Science writer It’s a common fixture in science fiction for bases and colonies to exist on the moon. Unfortunately, the major drawback to such a plan is how to get enough materials onto the lunar surface to build a practicallysized habitation, without it costing the earth. One idea which is currently gaining traction is the use of 3D printers. The idea is based around using a huge scale model of a 3D printer, and using it to construct a moon base from, well, the moon. Such printers which currently exist function by repeatedly spraying layer upon layer of plastics until a complex shape is formed, one which would be near impossible to cast by any other method. The intention is to use a mixture of fine lunar material and magnesium oxide to form the “paper” of the printer, and then a type of binding salt solution as the “ink”, to form it into a stone-analogous substance. Monolite, the UK based company behind the technology, has expressed hopes that their next generation printer model, the type to be used in the

construction of the base, would be able to build at a rate of 3.5 metres an hour, as opposed to the two metres an hour the current model manages, enabling the compound to be completed within a week. The current intention would be to use the moon base as a pit-stop for deep space exploration, where, if the lunar project proves a success, similar technology could be used to print off copy colonies on Mars and other such suitable destinations. They would be ideal for protecting longterm explorers from micro-meteorites and cosmic radiation, dangers present on planets lacking the thick atmosphere needed to disintegrate smaller spaceborne debris, and magnetospheres to deflect radiation. With prospective plans for manned missions to the Red Planet in the 2030s, the moon could prove to be an ideal testing ground for other such technologies. If the printed lunar colony turns out to be good quality, it could quickly become commonplace. Let’s just hope that they remember to take some IT Support for when it starts acting up.

Rebecca Hardy Science editor DNA testing is now a common part or our everyday lives; the uses of it span from forensic tests on crime scenes to paternity tests to gene therapy. In humans, 99.9% of our DNA has the

same sequencing as every other human on the planet. This means that, when carrying out DNA testing, scientists are looking for the difference in 0.1% of our genetic makeup. These differences are called genetic markers, and these are what make us unique. However, the more closely related you are to another person, the more similar your genetic markers will be, with identical twins having identical markers. When carrying out a parental identity test, scientists will look at the similarities between the two samples to determine the result. Due to the fact that all cells in the body contain exactly the same DNA, samples can be removed from anywhere and still prove effective and accurate. The first example of DNA being used to convict someone in the USA was serial killer Timothy Wilson Spencer, who was sentenced to death using DNA evidence. In the same trial, the man previously accused of the crime, David Vasquez, was simultaneously cleared and pardoned. Science has advanced so much in the last centuary that the possibilities for technologies such as these are endless.

16 Travel Weird and wonderful hostels

Jessica Crisp Travel writer For the majority of students, hostels are a great way to save a few pennies while off on globetrotting adventures. However, the breeze-blocked walls, dingy, stained carpets and uniform blandness which characterise most budget accommodation have become a thing of the past. A visit to one of the world’s most unusual hostels is as fun as the trip itself and will barely leave a dent in the wallet. Bayram’s Tree Houses, Turkey Remember that tree house you used to imagine as a kid, the one that always seemed to be better decked out than your house? Well, imagine no more. Bayram’s tree houses near Turkey’s National Park, Olympos are the perfect way to live out those childhood dreams of sleeping among the branches. Secluded and surrounded by crumbling ruins and beautiful coastline, they are a sure fire way to have an unforgettable trip. They sleep up to five people and come with all the usual hostel facilities. Radeka Downunder, Australia Intrepid travellers to Coober Pedy can bed down in a former opal mine, burrowed in the heart of Australia’s outback. Novelty value aside, these underground hideaways provide respite from the sun’s burning midday heat, or the winter chill. Over two thirds of people

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live underground here among churches, museums and shops – it’s a complete subterranean community! Try your luck at fossicking for opals, or if you feel you need to take a breath above ground, catch a film under the star-saturated night sky at the local drive-in cinema. There’s nothing like Coober Pedy. Anak Ranch, Mongolia Yurts are the accommodation of the moment. Eco-friendly and undeniably trendy, it’s an experience no one should forego in favour of something a little less “earthy.” Yurts, or gers, are the traditional homes of the nomadic Mongolians designed to be dismantled and hauled round on the back of a yak. A few nights in one are highly recommended for those after something a little different. Indulge in the wilderness and join the nomads for home-grown food and potent Mongolian vodka after a long day’s riding in the untamed steppe. Das Park Hotel, Austria It’s pretty safe to bet few people wouldn’t chose to spend the night in a drain pipe. But what if they were fully decked out with a mattress, electricity and windows? Well, Das Park Hotel, near Essen, has done just that. Jazzed up concrete drain pipes offer an alternative for anyone fed up with spending windswept nights in a flimsy, freezing tent. Of course, the space is minimal, but they’re cosy, comfortable, and above all, warm. The best bit? A night

Photography Corner

here will cost you as much as you can afford or are willing to pay. Jumbo Stay, Stockholm Join the jet set and spend a night in a converted jumbo jet, right next to Stockholm’s Arlanda airport. The one and only time you’ll ever get to lie down and get a decent night’s sleep in economy class; this is not an opportunity to pass

up. Complete with a “cockpit suite” and café, there are plans to convert the old jet engine bays into bedrooms and build a bar on one of the wings. A sure fire way to join the mile high club, this is one hostel that’s hard to forget. A little craziness never hurt anyone, and a night or few in some of the world’s wackiest hostels will no doubt add a unique and novel dimension to any trip.

I know a great little place ... Every week our writers will tell you their favourite place in the world. This week, travel editor Polly Grice describes her favourite bookshop in Paris Just across the river from the Notre Dame, the Shakespeare and Company Bookstore has become a Parisian tourist attraction in its own right. It’s so much more than just a bookstore, running workshops for aspiring writers, events for children and even philosophy lectures. The store specialises in rare and first edition books,

Rianna Hudson in Tanzania We love your travel snaps - see more of them online: Send yours to and we’ll publish them.

but it’s the variety of what’s on offer that really sets Shakespeare and Co apart. It stocks everything from trashy paperbacks to children’s books but the real beauty of the building is the incredible atmosphere which will make you want to stay and browse for hours on end and forget all about the Notre Dame over the river.



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The magic of Ayers Rock

Kirsten Powley Travel writer It’s difficult to catch that perfect, postcard picture of Uluru (more commonly known as Ayers Rock) while you’re on a bumpy bus taking you there. You might be desperate to capture the moment your eyes first settle on the iconic rock, but you will soon learn that there is a bigger picture to this mysterious place. There’s an overload of culture and a necessity for respect around Uluru, almost making it nerve-racking to kick up the red sand beneath your feet. Sieving it through your fingers proves that it really is as powdery and dusty as you imagined: this isn’t beach sand, this is the desert sand of the blistering outback. The best way to see Uluru is with a sunrise tour, with an Aboriginal tour guide to steer you around the 10km walk around the base of Uluru. The tour guides use the unique formations on the rock to explain Indigenous people’s beliefs through gripping stories, as though they sprung up by mere coincidence. Even the progressive gentle buzz of the numerous flies won’t distract from the fascination about how central Uluru is to the Aborigine culture. The faded drawings on cave walls as rough as sandpaper stand out to show how far back in history the importance of Uluru goes, and how little we know about it here on the other side

of the world. Some angles of Uluru around the base look dissimilar from the rectangular profile generally displayed through media. It is always changing, from the outline and shape to the influence of the sun on its colour. At sunrise it is a sharp bronze, transforming into a soft red-brown and back into the mesmerising bronze for sunset. There’s more to Uluru than that one silhouette, and it all comes to a climax

in the darkness at night where stars outnumber people. Every patch of the sky is covered in silver specs of detail and the air is still but more refreshing than any breeze could offer. That’s when you appreciate how overwhelming this big open space is, and as you’re paused in the present of the moment, the epiphany clicks and you get the bigger picture. There are many more important and amazing things in the world than we realise.


Jailbreak is coming!

Jailbreak is UEA radio station Livewire1350’s annual charity fundraiser where teams of two people or more have 48 hours to get as far away from UEA as possible,without spending any money on transport. In 2012, the station’s event saw teams travelling as far as Gibraltar, Budapest, Belgium, Berlin, Paris and Ireland. Last year was the biggest Jailbreak we’ve had at UEA, more teams than ever got involved, and raised over £7,000 for Cancer Research UK! This year’s event looks set to be just as promising. The challenge will be taking place on March 8-10, with over 20 teams already signed up and planning their route. The Jailbreak buzz is already vibrating around the teams, with plans afoot to raise money in the two week period before the lift off. There is still time for you to sign up to a team if you wish to participate, so send an email to with your team name and the email addresses of your teammates, or just send a request to be added onto the Jailbreak mailing list. You can follow the team’s progress over the Jailbreak weekend on www. and donate to Cancer Research on UEAJailbreak2013.

Northern Delights Abigail Goddard Travel writer For a country with a population of less than five million, Norway's capital Oslo has lots to offer. Situated in the south of Norway, where the temperatures are milder than in the Arctic north, it is easy to see why Oslo was ranked number one in terms of quality of life among large European cities

in 2012. Coming out from Central Station into Oslo takes you down Karl Johans gate, the main shopping strip where famous international brands mix with Scandinavian favourites. Another sight well worth seeing is Frogner Park or Vigelandsparken in Norwegian, a short walk from the centre of Oslo (or metro ride depending on how you're feeling/how freezing it is) the world's largest sculpture park containing

world famous pieces by Gustav Vigeland. Another 20-minute metro ride away from the centre is Holmenkollen ski jump, the world's most modern designer ski jump. Visit the ski museum in the day and the platform at night for amazing panoramic views of the city. If you have some spare time to kill at Central Station the Oslo Opera House close by is an impressive landmark constructed from glass and marble where

walking on the roof is encouraged as a popular activity. Language wise don't worry if you haven't mastered Norwegian, everyone is incredibly friendly and usually proficient in English, just be sure to say “tusen takk” at every opportunity, and you won’t go far wrong! If you're looking for somewhere friendly, lively and with lots of culture then perfectly sized Oslo has it all.


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Friday night in? Take away the temptation Holly Whitaker Lifestyle writer Takeaways: the ultimate student temptation. We have all been there. It is a Friday night, your brain is weary from studying at the library all day, what is left of the food in the fridge expired in September 2012 and, let’s face it, you are starving and the last thing on your mind is cooking a sad meal for one. In your eyes, the only way to solve this dilemma is to call your local Chinese which, of course, is already on speed-dial. Stop and think again. Takeaways are not your only solution to dinner when you are hungry and seriously lacking in culinary inspiration on a Friday night, or any night of the week for that matter. Is anyone else feeling the strain on their purse this semester? That’s right, takeaways may seem like a beautiful invention that puts you in charge of your own food destiny, but they are not kind on the bank balance. Spending around £20 here and there on an indulgent spur of the moment takeaway all adds up without you realising. In terms of value for money, takeaways are a complete rip-off. You

can buy a perfectly good pizza from the UFO for a mere two pounds, rather than paying extortionate prices for a take-out margherita. Think of the better ways that you could be spending all that money, like

on an LCR ticket, maybe? The most obvious reason to cut takeaways out of your life is for the benefit to your health. They are jam packed with calories, fat, additives, sugar, e-numbers,

added salt and let’s be honest, probably horse. Takeaways will no doubt go against your new year’s resolution of eating more healthily and getting that summer-ready beach body, so think again when you reach for your phone. The concept of “meal sharing” with housemates is a great way to curb the appeal of ordering in as it works on the basis that each day of the week, a different housemate will buy and cook dinner. This means that you aren’t obliged to cook seven days a week, you will get a variety of meals and it works out considerably cheaper for all of you. Also, ordering food in won’t be an option because each housemate has a scheduled specific day to cook. Making a big batch of a meal at the start of the week, such as chilli-con-carne or spaghetti bolognese, and freezing it into portions is an alternative for a fast and zero-effort meal. It would take less time to reheat than it would to order fast food, plus it costs a fraction of the price. So next time you think about picking up the phone and indulging in a takeaway, just think of your bank balance and that summer beach body; no doubt you will resist the temptation.

The importance of keeping your digs clean Emily-Claire Tucker Lifestyle writer For as long as there have been students, there has been the expectation that they will live not only in near poverty, but also in complete filth. Why is this expected? Is it because young people who don’t have their mum to tell them to tidy their room just won’t? Or is it because we are too busy being young and full of fun to put

the vacuum around once in a while? Those living in halls are generally kept from living in complete squalor by the University of East Anglia’s cleaning staff, as well as the threat of potential fines for slacking on the washing up. Once we lose this luxury in second year however, things can go swiftly downhill. When sharing a house, it is very easy to play the blame game. One lazy housemate can lead to others feeling like they are

parenting a house of messy teenagers. It can be difficult to ask politely for someone to clean up their rancid jug of beans or week-old pizza box, particularly if it is not the first time. The best thing to do when faced with an offending housemate is to take a minute, find a clean mug, and have a cup of tea. Try to think objectively about how unacceptable the mess is, rather than falling for the temptations of passive aggressive post-it

notes and Facebook messages. As a general rule, mould is never okay. Be it green, white, blue or fully fledged fur, not only is it a sign of a consciously abandoned mess, but it is pretty dangerous too. Breathing in too many spores from ageing foodstuffs can worsen asthma and hit your immune system pretty hard, making you more susceptible to colds and coughs. Risking your health is a pretty high price for putting off the washing up, so do not avoid the dishes. If things are not quite this bad, and a housemate just needs some encouragement to clean up, have a quiet word. If things do not change, moving the offending plates and pans to their room tends to get the message across more clearly. When it comes to communal areas like the living room, bathroom and kitchen, mess can build up pretty quickly. For these areas, it might be an idea to come up with some kind of rota. Whether it is a super strict laminated affair, or more of an “it’s your turn to do that” structure, shared responsibility of the housework is important to keeping housemate relations running smoothly. Take a house trip to the 99p store in Castle Mall or Wilkinsons to buy some cleaning products, split the costs and install these new purchases somewhere communal and visible inside your abode. If the products are unavoidable, so is the opportunity to occasionally clean up.



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How to eat ethically in Norwich Sidonie Chaffer-Melly Lifestyle writer Eating locally is a great way of making a difference to both the environment and your conscience. It boosts the local economy, cuts down on carbon emissions from air miles and is arguably better for your health. While the greater benefits of eating organic are yet to be shown, it has been proven that it will cut down your exposure to the chemicals found in pesticides, and buying local will mean that your food is fresh and not coming from a supermarket refrigerator. There are plenty of restaurants and shops in Norwich that stock organic, ethically sourced food. Here are just a few. The Loving Hut on Cattle Market Street is an all-vegan ethically sourced restaurant. Whilst the prospect of a vegan meal might sound off-putting to the more carnivorous, The Loving Hut offers a wide range of meat and dairy-free options, which sound both delicious and filling. Burger, steak and hotdogs, all served with a side of chips, are available for under £5, while for just £4 you can get access to the all you can eat buffet. It is an affordable and tasty way to get a wholesome, healthy meal. Located at Earlham House Shopping

Centre, The Green Grocers is an ethically sound food shop and café. Following a set of four principles, they not only guarantee that over 90% of their produce is organic and locally sourced (with the remainder fair-trade or eco-friendly), but they also

put some of their profits back into the community to fund good causes. They have also made sure that their methods of transportation are carbon neutral, making it better for the environment, and support the Produced in Norfolk enterprise, which


promotes products from within the county. Meanwhile Frank’s Bar offers a wide range of locally sourced pub food. The menu changes regularly in order to serve what is in season – eliminating the air miles spent on importing out of season food from overseas and also ensuring that their food is fresh. You will find an amazing selection of breakfasts, stretching through to light meals, main courses and ciabattas, with home-made cake and ice cream to indulge. If you are thirsty, you can choose from a wide range of organic juices and hot drinks, or an extensive cocktail menu if you are in the party mood. Even better, you can head over on a Sunday afternoon at 4.30pm for ethical nibbles and a free film screening. Find them at 19 Bedford Street in The Lanes. Finally, the Tea House is a cheap and charming fair trade café tucked away in Wrights Court, Elm Hill. Offering 27 loose-leaf teas from a local blender and homemade cakes and sandwiches made with bread from a local baker, it is the perfect place to stop off for an ethically sound afternoon snack stop. With the food coming in at under a fiver, it is easy on the wallet, and if you are a bit more on the peckish side, you can grab a bacon sandwich and a coffee to keep you going.

The fine city’s thriving pub scene Rhian Poole Lifestyle writer The city of Norwich was once abundant with pubs and breweries, formerly having as many as 600 public houses and seven breweries. Today however, those numbers have diminished to around half the number of pubs and no breweries. It was not until the twentieth century that the fine city’s number of pubs began to dwindle. In 1904, a licensing act was put in place which meant that compensation was granted for pubs whose licenses were granted before 1904 and repudiated replenishment. This new legislation meant that 9,801 pubs were closed in the whole of the United Kingdom. The impact of the Second World War offered a major contribution to the impairment of Norwich’s pub culture, as air raids caused the loss of 100 pubs and damaged many more. To give an idea of how extreme the changes were in Norwich, King Street for example once had 58 pubs and today there is only one, whilst Ber Street had 39 and now only has two. Despite these losses, Norwich is still renowned for its pub crawl culture. The Walnut Tree Shades, a cosy and novel pub, can be traced back to 1841 and used to be an outlet for experimental brews such as Starlight. Once an American diner, today it is the place to be for live bands, flavoursome

food and a medley of ales, complete with a jukebox and a littering of old American road signs and comical quotes. The Wildman can be traced back even further into the 18th century, and bears a very interesting story behind its name. The pub is named after Peter the Wild Boy, a child who King George I encountered on a hunting trip in a German forest and brought back to England to Thomas Fenn, whom he then escaped from. As the child could not speak and was wearing rags, it was assumed that he was a vagrant and was imprisoned. It was not until he was transferred to Cork City Gaol after a fire that he was recognised and returned to Fenn. The Wildman was the first pub to be featured in CAMRA’s Good Beer Guide and has been described as the “last Tolly house in Norwich serving beer by traditional methods.” The Glasshouse was opened in 2001 and is the third Wetherspoons pub in the city. The building was previously owned by a glass merchant and today is home to a lively and buoyant atmosphere. It has a beautiful outside seating area and is renowned for long opening hours and low prices. Perfect for the student budget! The Birdcage, a cultured and erudite pub built in 1859 and redesigned in 1938, offers an alternative twist to the historical pub tradition, offering cupcakes, wi-fi and

board games. Finally there is The Fat Cat, opened in 2005. It has been voted the Most Successful Pub in the CAMRA National Pub of the Year competition and named the CAMRA Beer Pub of the Year four times.

With its humble décor of old pub signs and huge variety of real ales from 12 different pumps, it is little wonder that The Fat Cat has established a large following of both locals and students.


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Apple cake recipe Jess Beech Lifestyle writer There is nothing better than big, stodgy desserts during the winter months, and this simple apple cake is the perfect winter warmer. It is fruity enough to still be stretched as one of your five-a-day, and can be easily adapted as a summer treat by including summer fruits. Serve it straight from the oven with cream or custard for an extra treat. Ingredients • 225g of self-raising flour • 1tsp of baking powder • 225g of caster sugar • 140g of melted butter • 2 eggs • 1tsp of almond essence • 400g of cooking apples • A sprinkle of Demerara sugar

Method 1. Preheat the oven to 150C. 2. Peel the cooking apples and cut them up into slices. 3. Pop the flour, baking powder and sugar into a mixing bowl. 4. Melt the butter and beat this together with the eggs and almond essence in the same mixing bowl as the dry ingredients. 5. Pour half of the mixture into a greased cake tin, spreading it all around the base of the tin. 6. Cover the mixture with the apples. 7. Cover this with the remainder of the cake mixture. 8. Sprinkle the Demerara sugar on the top of the mixture. 9. Pop the cake into the oven and bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until crusty on the outside. 10. Serve warm.

Amy Osterloh

Rebecca Layland

Microwave cake

Tiffin-style fridge cake

Amy Osterloh Lifestyle writer

Bex White Lifestyle writer

Ingredients • 100ml of vegetable or sunflower oil • 100ml of hot water • 2 large eggs • 3tbsp of cocoa powder • 175g of caster sugar • 175g of self-raising flour Method 1. Using a measuring jug, measure out the oil and water. 2. Break the eggs into the jug and whisk thoroughly until the oil and water are no longer separated. Although oil and water do not usually mix, the eggs will emulsify the mixture. 3. Measure out the chocolate powder, caster sugar and flour. Put all the dry

ingredients into a bowl and add the oil, water and egg mixture. Stir into a smooth, lump-free consistency. 4. Grease a casserole dish with a little oil. If you do not have a casserole dish, then a microwaveable bowl can be used. Take into account that the cake mixture rises a lot during cooking. 5. Pour the cake mixture into the casserole dish. Cover the casserole dish with cling film and poke holes in the film. 6. Cook the cake in the microwave. The cooking time does depend on the microwave, but cook for approximately five minutes and then check whether it is done. If the cake is not cooked then put it back in the microwave. The cake is ready to eat when a skewer comes out clean.

A mixture of rocky road and tiffin, this treat will go down great with anybody with a sweet tooth. Whether it is for a birthday celebration, a special Easter surprise or just a Friday night around the television, this dessert is simple to make and impressive to all. Dust with cocoa powder or icing sugar before serving, or decorate with mini eggs for Easter. Ingredients • 400g of digestive biscuits • 200g of margarine or butter • 2tbsp of golden syrup • 2tbsp of cocoa powder • 150g of milk or plain chocolate • 50g of glacé cherries • A few handfuls of sultanas • A few handfuls of mini marshmallows

Method 1. Place the digestive biscuits into a sealed food bag and crush them with a rolling pin until they are of a fine consistency. 2. Place the butter and golden syrup into a pan and melt them together over a low heat. 3. Add the biscuit crumbs, cocoa powder, cherries and sultanas into the pan and mix well. Put half the mixture into a cake tin. 4. In a bowl placed over a pan of simmering water, melt the chocolate. Pour this into the cake tin along with the marshmallows. 5. Add the rest of the biscuit crumb mixture into the tin. 6. To finish, pour the rest of the melted chocolate on top before placing the finished dish into the fridge for 2 hours.


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Women’s Football slide to Bedford defeat Amelia Glean Sports correspondent

Women’s Football 1 Bedfordshire 6

Editors’ column Billy Sexton Sports editor It’s a very rare sight to see all of Concrete Sport’s pages filled with match reports about UEA sports clubs and therefore testament must be paid to our wonderful sports correspondents who give up their time to venture to the Sportspark or Colney Lane, so a big thank you from both Sam and myself! We hope that in around one month’s time we’ll be able to bring you a plethora of match reports from one of the most anticipated events in the UEA calendar: Derby Day 2013. Our coverage of this event is going to be extensive and across an array of platforms. First and foremost, we will be providing readers of Concrete with a pull out in the 19 March issue, alongside our regular three pages to satisfy your sporting appetites. We will also be Tweeting updates and results throughout the day so make sure you give us a follow - @concretesport. The feed will be available for all to see on the screens in the Hive and the Union Bar. Alongside this, Concrete’s online team will be live blogging the event and highlighting some of the best Tweets from UEA (and maybe Essex) supporters. There will be a page on our website solely dedicated to updating results and providing fixture information. We’re also planning to team up with our friends from Livewire 1350 and UEA:TV to provide the best coverage of Derby Day possible. The Sportswire radio show, which airs 11.30 - 13.00 on Saturdays will have both a preview and review show where we hope to conduct interviews with club presidents and captains. UEA:TV will be working tirelessly throughout the day itself to capture the highlights of key games and have videos available for you all to feast your eyes on. It’s not too late to get involved with Concrete Sport’s coverage of Derby Day 2013, and it’s not just match reporting. There’s opportunities to get involved with the online side of things, as well as radio and video coverage. If it’s something you want to do, drop us an email at

UEAWFC could not halt the recent run of defeats after losing 6-1 at home to league leaders Bedfordshire. Although the first half saw a much-improved performance with a number of opportunities to take the lead inside the first five minutes, the game ended disappointingly for the home side. Leanne Stubbings took an early free-kick won by Louise Chadwick but unfortunately Maria Fernandez could not make the most of the opportunity, narrowly missing the target with a close range effort. This early period saw a good reaction to last week’s hard fought 2-1 loss against Lincoln, as the team were playing with positivity and determination. At the seven-minute mark the Yellows were rewarded with a goal when captain Gabrielle Glover neatly finished Stubbing’s cross to take the lead. With newfound confidence UEA began to settle and the newly formed partnership of KC O’Shea and Kathryn Canavan at centre half looked solid, keeping Bedfordshire’s number 11 quiet for long periods. However, the home side failed to capitalise on this advantage and

were unable to hold onto the lead when Bedfordshire’s number 9 finished from a cross to make it 1-1. UEA now looked under pressure, although they were lucky to see a shot fire wide from close range shortly afterwards. It looked as though the home side might hold on until half time with outstanding performances from O’Shea and Canavan. Aviyah Abrahams also looked dangerous on the counter-attack, running onto a neat diagonal ball played by Sammy Algar that carved through the otherwise perfect defensive line of Bedfordshire. Unfortunately Abrahams could not make the most of the opportunity. Five minutes from half time Bedfordshire began to get into the game and with a goal flagged up for offside they were eventually rewarded for their determination a minute later, taking the lead for the first time in the match. Bedfordshire were beginning to settle and dictate play and as a result, the number 11 pushed her way through UEA’s defensive line and placed her shot into the right hand corner of the net. In relatively quick succession, the away sides number 9 also fired her shot past Becky White. Disappointingly, UEA had let in two goals within four minutes of half time. The second period started very poorly for the home side and consequently UEA conceded another two goals from close range to take the score to 6-1. With 10

minutes left to play the side pushed for a goal and threatened on a number of occasions after Lois Dunn was partnered upfront with Abrahams. The two worked well to create a number of openings but neither could convert to score that allimportant goal. After the game, UEA were left to reflect on what might have been, having matched the league leaders for long periods of the first half.

Whye Tchien Khor

Women’s Basketball victorious against local league rivals Alison Mailloux Sports correspondent

Women’s Basketball 55 The Saints 36 The UEA female basketball team, the Panthers, are prowling through their season with ease, as a convincing win on 11 February showed. The Panthers participate in two leagues and this fixture saw them facing their toughest rivals in the local league – The Saints. Having beaten this team just a week before by thirty points, it would have been easy for this strong team to go into the game somewhat apathetically. Yet, from watching the Panthers warm up, one could see an evident hunger for a further win to be added to their undefeated season. Despite having won the tip, the opening two minutes of the game saw no score from either side, each executing different but powerful defensive strategies. However, The Saints began to score and after two quick baskets from

the opposition, UEA coach Mark Surridge called a timeout in the hope of getting the Panthers back on track. This proved to work to the Panthers advantage as they began to score more from strong drives on the inside initially with less emphasis on outside shooting. The first quarter ended at 10-10 with lots of work to be done. With the opening of the second quarter came the awakening of two features that have been making this team so strong all season – the fast break and a lively man to man defence. The duo of Jemma Gordon and Smita Ramma saw the influx of three impressive drives in quick succession giving the Panthers the momentum they needed. Outside shots began to drop including two three pointers from different players helping them to end the half ahead by fourteen points, with the opposition only having scored one basket in that quarter. The second half gave the Panthers a chance to showcase a powerful squad as a whole, as several new players stepped onto the court and maintained a solid lead. The Saints had changed to a man to man defence in the hope of shaking

up the rhythm and became consistent in screening on offense, making it clear that the fight wasn’t over yet. But despite this, the Panthers were able to adapt and successfully penetrated the defence for drives including four in a row, each by a different player, ending this quarter 43-22 to UEA. Going into the final quarter no starters were on the court for the Panthers but aggression from both teams was still at a high with the Saints scoring two baskets straight away. In spite of this, the Panthers convincing lead was maintained until the end, with a final result being 55-36. The slow start and strong reoccurrence of threats from the opposition showcased the UEA Panthers good attitude of staying calm and playing their own game. They will definitely need this going into the next few weeks; their impressive season will be tested as they go into the semi finals of the BUCS Midlands Conference Cup against Northampton tomorrow. Women’s Basketball remain top of their BUCS league, remaining undefeated so far this season. They will hope to continue with their 100% record as they look set to be promoted this season.



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Men’s Hockey II unfortunate in defeat Chris Teale Managing editor

Men’s Hockey II 4 Anglia Ruskin I 5 Men’s Hockey II were unfortunate to lose 5-4 against Anglia Ruskin I in a pulsating game at the Sportspark on Wednesday 13 January. UEA began the game one place off the bottom of BUCS Midlands Division 5A on goal difference, but were confident as their opponents arrived with just 11 players, the minimum number required. In cold conditions, the game started at a frantic pace as both sides poured forward in search of an opening goal. However, it was the home team who created the first opening in just the fifth minute, as a backhanded shot was put in from close range to give UEA a 1-0 lead. Unfortunately, from the resulting restart, Anglia Ruskin came forward immediately and after a rebound was not cleared managed to stab the ball home and equalise within a minute of

conceding. The game continued in a similar vein with both sides attacking seemingly at will but denied by some great saves from the two goalkeepers despite some superb and pacey play. It took until the 20th minute for the deadlock to be broken, and it came thanks to a defensive error from the home side as they failed to clear the ball and were punished to go behind 2-1. However, UEA then mirrored their opponents’ response to their opening goal as they charged up the field from the subsequent restart and scored a superb equaliser as a pullback into the D was hammered home to level the scores at 2-2. The free-flowing attacking play continued, with the home side having the better of the chances as the first period wore on. However, in the 32nd minute they fell behind once again as Anglia Ruskin came forward in another scintillating counter-attack and found the net to a 3-2 lead into the half-time break. The second half began badly for the

home side as within two minutes of the restart they conceded again to go behind 4-2, to the frustration of those watching on. However, once again they found an immediate response and prodded home a third goal after a shot squirmed through the Anglia Ruskin goalkeeper’s grasp. Within minutes, UEA were level after a penalty corner was poked home at the back post, and all of a sudden the game was level again at 4-4. The home side grew ever hopeful of finding a crucial winning goal as they created a good deal of pressure in attack, but their opponents held firm and defended stoutly. Anglia Ruskin then earned a penalty corner in the 58th minute, and managed to find the net once again to give themselves a critical 5-4 lead with just over 10 minutes left in the half. UEA came forward with urgency as they searched for another equaliser, although despite their best efforts the away side managed to close out the game and secure a victory. Unfortunately, it is another loss

for UEA, but they will be greatly encouraged by their performance with just two games left in the BUCS season.

Tom Oliver

Netball I stumble to heavy Cambridge loss Holly Wade Sports correspondent

Netball I 19 Cambridge I 42 UEA Netball I took on Cambridge I in a nail biting match at the Sportspark last Wednesday that saw the home team defeated 42-19. UEA took the first centre pass and started well, asserting their authority on the match with a few early shots from Goal Shooter Emily Carpenter. Yet as the first quarter drew to a close Cambridge had overtaken and extended the lead by an extra three nets. With continued pressure from Cambridge, UEA had to show resilience in defence. Some great interceptions, particularly from Goal Defence Sally Grice, who worked tirelessly defending in the circle, as did Wing Defence Natasha King. Unfortunately for UEA, in an attempt to make these interceptions, many penalties were incurred . A number of good passes came from Goal Attack Rachel Sloper who relentlessly ran between the centre third and circle in order to supply Carpenter with quality service. Sloper was able to control the tempo raising it and slowing when needed. Laura King, as Centre, showed good movement always

attempting to push forward and create space. Wing Attack Carmen HannibalStewart took advantage of any gaps in the Cambridge defence to drive for the ball. Near the end of the second quarter Goal Keeper, and captain, Charlotte Moorhouse fell and awkwardly twisted her ankle. She showed determination to soldier on in the third quarter, but the injury got the better off her and she had to leave the field. UEA showed signs that they were able to play their way back into the game with decisive passing and intelligent movement, however they lacked a cutting edge. This has more down to the quality of the Cambridge defence which towered over UEA’s attacking force. This made it extremely difficult to score as their attempts were constantly deflected. In defence there was no let up for the home side as Cambridge attacked from all angles, sending the ball forward, away from UEA and into the hands of their shooter who managed to score consistently. The fourth and final quarter saw a shift in UEA’s positions with Eryn Mann taking up Centre. Mann did well and provided a fresh burst of energy. Despite UEA’s continued determination, it was no no avail as the team were too far behind to cause Cambridge any problems. Player of the match was awarded to Grice who certainly seemed the top

contender for this accolade for her unflagging defensive work. After the match captain Moorhouse said “Overall, it was a disappointing loss. At points, we had the potential to play as good if not better than them. The attack wasn’t working as succinctly as it usually does and we struggled to change up our play when they zone defended us.” In response to their current position in the BUCS standings she continued, “The loss doesn’t leave us in a great position in the league. We need to win our last two games to secure mid table and make sure we don’t have to play in the relegation play offs.” UEA can take heart from their fourth quarter performance. Even though by that stage the result was inevitable, UEA played with resoluteness that would put them in good stead for the remaining fixtures. If they were to play like they did in the final quarter in the next game there is no doubt that they will be able to stay away from a relegation battle. Netball have two huge fixtures remaining against bottom side Nottingham University and mid table side. Nottingham Trent. Nottingham University have struggled this season and will be looking to try and leapfrog UEA out of the relegation spot. Nottihgham Trent, with a superior goal difference, are unlikely to be sucked into a relegation battle and with little to play for, other

than pride, UEA will be hoping to catch them cold in their fixture. This is their last game before Derby Day where they will be looking to repeat the success they had last year.

Laura Smith


Concrete Sport UEA


Issue 280 19 February 2013 Netball

Whye Tchien Khor

Laura Smith

Squash take easy De Montfort win Billy Sexton Sports editor

Men’s Squash 5 De Montfort 0 Men’s Squash strolled to a 5-0 victory against De Montfort University, with all five players dominating their opponents, not a single player losing a game. Filip Svoboda began proceedings and the UEA man had the upper hand from the off against an inexperienced opponent. Svoboda looked to be exerting minimal effort yet was still superior in all aspects - he won the first two games 112. With the De Montfort man struggling to even return Svoboda’s serves, it’s no surprise that the match was over in a matter of minutes, with UEA putting their first point on the board. In the second contest, Stefan Lubek faced a pacy opponent but was not to be put off by this. Lubek oozes quality all over the court, playing exquisite shots to assert his authority. The desire of the De Montfort player cannot be faulted but Lubek simply has more stamina, superior skill and a natural instinct for shot selection. De Montfort threatened a small comeback in the final game but Lubek leaves his opponent demoralised after emerging victorious from a thrilling

rally. With UEA 2-0 up, victory is within touching distance. It was Ben Nicholson’s victory against a powerful opponent that secured an overall win for UEA. Despite the physical presence of the De Montfort player, Nicholson was able to counter this with skilful shots and agile movement. Nicholson won his first game 11-4 and it became clear that De Montfort are not worthy enough to be mentioned in the same breath as UEA Squash. Nicholson utilised the drop shot in an incredible manner and also possessed a ruthless backhand. Nicholson dispatched of his opponent in straight games, ensuring that UEA won the entire fixture. Even though the match was won, Callum Macdonald and Luke Grindle didn’t hold up in their respective matches. Macdonald secured his first game with a spectacular drop shot and at this point UEA looked to be well on their way to a whitewash victory. Captain Grindle dominated the court, incorporating a vast range of shots and executing backhand volleys in an impressive manner against an inferior opponent. It was a remarkable victory for UEA, who now sit atop their BUCS league and face Derby on 27 February in a top of the table clash. If the team can emulate performances like this week in, week out, they’re sure to be promoted.

UEA Home Fixtures

Page 23 Women’s Football

20 February Women’s Basketball v Northampton Men’s Football v Bedford Women’s Football v Leicester Men’s Hockey II v Warwick IV

Whye Tchien Khor

Page 22 Women’s Basketball

Men’s Table Tennis v Loughborough Men’s Tennis v Nottingham Women’s Volleyball v Cranfield

Whye Tchien Khor

Page 22

Concrete - Issue 280  

Concrete, UEA's student newspaper

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