It’s not too late to get involved! Go to concrete-online.co.uk/write to find out more UEA’s Student Newspaper Issue 273 Free Tuesday 23 October
Colney Lane refurbishment planned Sports clubs bemoan poor conditions
pitch has rabbit holes in it, the showers and toilets never work.” A member of Women’s Lacrosse added: “They should really move the lock ups down here, it just makes sense really, rather than having to meet up at the University lock ups, drag everything Campus down to Colney Lane, and then back Billy Sexton & again. It would just make more sense to Sophie Witts move it here.” Criticism has also arisen from teams The changing room facilities at Colney playing away games who found the Lane are set to undergo a renovation, facilities at competing universities to be with a completion date set for January far superior to those provided at UEA. Elizabeth Margereson 2013. A University spokesperson stated: The facilities are used by a large “The University’s Colney Lane changing number of UEA sports clubs and have facilities are being upgraded with new been heavily criticised by members, hot and cold water systems. The work leading to talks between the Sportspark is scheduled for completion by the director, Phil Steele and UEA Estates. start of the spring term this January. It is believed that the talks will result in Improvements to the decor are also both a short term and long term plan for being planned. We hope to keep the site which will resolve the current disruption to a minimum during the drainage problems. installation of the new facilities. Speaking to UEA:TV, a member of “Reviews of the playing fields are the Men’s Football team referred to the ongoing and we are working with clubs facilities at Colney Lane as “a shambles”, to ensure pitches are ready for matches.” and indicated that the problems around Finance officer at the Union of UEA the site arose from an amalgam of Students Joe Levell said: “Sport is a vital factors. “The changing rooms are never part of what the Union and University unlocked, the car park is never unlocked, provide, so we’re delighted that this will the football nets have holes in them, the be a great improvement for students.”
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Corrections: -In “Antioxidants can reduce cancer risk”, published in issue 272, we reported that antioxidant supplements can reduce the risk of pancreatic cancer. The research actually states that it is an increased dietary intake. (With thanks to Rebecca Horn for pointing out this error.) -Apologies to news writer Robert Staniforth whose name was misspelt in issue 272.
The Editor’s Column
It’s been a special weekend in the Concrete office. Highlights include watching X Factor with Chinese takeaway and slowly driving online editor Harry Slater round the bend with incessant questions about what exactly Tuilisa is doing there anyway. But despite that, we’ve got a pretty cracking issue for you. Global gives a run down of potential US president Santa Claus, while Features takes a look at the debate surrounding The Sun’s infamous
Page Three. You won’t find naked women on Concrete’s Page Three, but if you turn to Page 18, you will find two women who are dressed as boobs instead. Never let it be said that we don’t know what the people want. If that’s not your thing, there’s plenty of political commentary in Comment and a new season of Bucs in Sport. Have a read, and enjoy your week, Amy Adams Editor-in-chief
Dear editor, I would like to correct some of the points made by Michael Drummand and Sophie Witts (Concrete 9 October “MP defends vote over tuition fees”.) Firstly, Simon Wright voted against the coalition government’s tuition fees as he said he would. The articles headline and choice of picture are misleading. Secondly, If Mr Wright were to vote for Labour’s £6,000 fees he would in fact be breaking his pledge as the amount is higher than at the time of the general election when he made his pledge. Thirdly, it is clear that Labour have got their sums wrong and can’t be trusted on tuition fees. For example, they promised not to introduce top-up fees in their manifesto - and then former Norwich South MP Charles Clarke brought them in when he was Education Secretary in 2004. Given those points shouldn’t we be positive and welcome the fact that our local MP has continued to stick by his pledge to oppose higher tuition fees? Simon Wright is after all, doing exactly what UEA students asked him to do. Yours faithfully, Alex Barry President of UEA Lib Dems
Dear editor, Once again, the UUEAS Council ground to an inquorate halt, barely halfway through the agenda. Enough members decided to just leave, that most of the key items were left undiscussed, and not voted upon. Not all the decisions of Council can be controversial, political or “fun”; the right to make key decisions and influence policy is earned by doing the hard work of day-to-day representation. As for the people who can’t be bothered to stay, or attend at all, it shows a deep lack of respect for their fellow Council members, who have given up their time to be involved in the life of the University through the UUEAS. One of the motions for Council was against the “Attendance Monitoring” policy; the proposers of the motion claim that students should not be treated like children ... perhaps we should start taking our responsibilities seriously in order to refute that label. Anonymous
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UEA pay ratio revealed Campus Amy Admas Editor-in-chief
The University have responded to a campaign by the UEA Greens asking for a 10:1 pay ratio between the highest and lowest paid members of UEA by saying that it is already the case. Part of a wider national 10:1 campaign across universities, president of the UEA Greens Chris Jarvis said: “Universities have the highest average pay ratio of the publics sector and this has been rising in recent years, currently averaging at 15:1. “This growing inequality is grossly unfair, especially at a time of austerity when public sector workers are being made redundant, and departments of universities are being cut, as we saw with the shutting down of the UEA Music School.” The campaign was backed by UUEAS environment and ethical issues officers Benjamin Brown and Rosie Rawle. It also asked the vice-chancellor to publish the ratio between the highest and lowest paid
workers on campus; commit to working towards a 10:1 pay ratio; pledge to pay directly-employed workers a living wage; and ensure that contractors pay their workers a living wage. However, a spokesperson for UEA said: “The university has met a number of the pledges set out by UEA Greens in their campaign. The ratio of the pay of the 10% highest paid workers to that of the 10% lowest paid is already well below 10:1 at 5.4:1. The university has also already committed to pay a minimum of £7.20 per hour, the current living wage, once the current pay round has been settled. “The vice-chancellor’s salary and those of the highest paid members of staff are published annually in the university’s financial statements. These are publically available on the UEA website. We do not insist that our contractors pay their workers a living wage and it is not something that we are considering.” In the financial statement for 2011 states the vice-chancellor’s total salary as £241,000, down from £245,000 in 2010.
Union council collapse Campus Chris Teale Managing editor The first union council of the academic year was declared closed far earlier than expected on Thursday 18 October as it lost quorum with only part of the agenda having been discussed. Council had intended to discuss resolutions on attendance monitoring and the protection of faith on campus amongst other items, but was forced to close as a large number of the voting members left proceedings early. Those present had voted to appoint members to vacant positions on a number of university committees, but those votes were declared invalid after a check was made on how many voting
members were still present. With the next union council meeting not scheduled until 1 November, discussion on a number of key issues could not be held, including a resolution offering support for the counterdemonstration by We Are Norwich against the English Defence League’s march on 10 November. In response to Thursday night’s developments, Union Communications Officer Matthew Myles said: “Because of the success of our induction talks and activities training the quorum level was at a record high at 98. “Attending union council is really important because it gives you a chance to change things in the Union and UEA, and if quorum isn’t met then this can’t happen.”
Armed Forces Society approved Campus Philip Thomas News editor The UEA Armed Forces Society was approved by union council on Thursday 18 October, despite the objections of some council members. The stated role of the Armed Forces Society is: “the promotion of the relevance and ethos of the British armed forces in today’s society, providing students with skills in practical leadership and management to increase their employability. “ The society was approved in union council following a signifcant vote in favour of the proposal, with the motion passed by a majority of two to one.
The presence of the Officer Training Corps, University Royal Naval Unit and University Air Squadron on campus will remain unchanged. They are not affilliated to the union or university, but are permitted to recruit and advertise at Freshers Fair. Opposers of the society argued that its approval would contravene the union’s anti-war policy. Meanwhile supporters of the motion disputed these claims, citing the demand for an Armed Forces Society amongst UEA students. Proposer for the motion Andrew Livesey welcomed the outcome of the vote, saying that “the society will form an official communincations link between the union and external groups.”
UEA unveils 50th anniversary plans Campus Sophie Witts News editor The University will stage a festival weekend featuring a world famous act as part of its 50th anniversary celebrations next year. UEA has announced details of the event taking place between the 28th29th September, which will feature a free community activity day alongside theatre, music and comedy. There will also be street performers, a world food market and talks by well known UEA alumni. The university broad will play host to a fairground and concert on the evening of the 28th September, with the mystery headline act set to be announced next year. The festival will form just one of the highlights of the anniversary year, which include an exhibition of East Anglian art at the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts. Drawn from major collections, “Masterpieces: Art and East Anglia” will showcase works the region has inspired, produced and collected, as well as those
that have been long associated with the area, and demonstrate its importance in a national and international context. There will also be a display of artwork by former UEA professor Howard Temperley at Norwich Cathedral, a series of concerts by the university’s choirs and orchestras, and an exhibition at the Forum showcasing the university’s areas of excellence and its impact on local communities. Vice-Chancellor Prof. Edward Acton said: “I am delighted to announce the plans for the university’s 50th anniversary. This will be a celebration of all that UEA has achieved both nationally and internationally, and all that it has to offer – to students, staff, alumni and the local community as a whole.” The last five decades have seen over 100,000 students graduate from UEA, with the University being ranked in both the top 1 per cent of institutions globally and among the ten best Universities in the world under 50 years old.
Early freshers attend a plaid themed LCR
Stephen Fry awarded union life membership Campus Philip Thomas News editor
Stephen Fry has been granted life membership of the Union of UEA students. The award acknowledges his endorsement of the LGBT student experience report, which he describes in a foreword as a “hugely important and inspirational project to learn more about the sexual identities, hopes, health and happiness of UEA students.” Additionally, Liam McCafferty and Duncan Smith were also granted life membership for their contributions to union events and campaigns. The life memberships were approved by union council on Thursday 18 October.
Future of Islamic Centre remains uncertain despite temporary reprieve Campus Chris Thomson News reporter After a high-profile campaign, the UEA Islamic Centre will temporarily remain in its present building, but doubts remain over its long-term fate. The university executive team responsible for external consultations has decided to undertake proceedings to extend planning permission until 2014; however its future is still pending the results of a university wide faith consultation. This revelation may prompt mixed feelings from those concerned, as there has not been a long-term decision on the
future of the Islamic centre, or indeed an alternative worship space for the Islamic community at UEA. The faith consultation should lead to greater clarity in the university’s commitment to provision of campus faith and prayer facilities; its findings may influence the ultimate decision on the future of the Islamic centre and the provision of facilities for the Islamic community. All staff and students have been given the opportunity to respond to an email circulated by the Pro-Vice Chancellor earlier this month. The results of the consultation and what this means for the Islamic community will likely become clear at university council on 19
November. Unfortunately this leaves the Islamic community in limbo. Meanwhile a comment by union communications officer Matthew Myles may encourage their supporters. Talking to Concrete, he revealed that the union will be lobbying the university to have a more representative and impartial group to analyse the responses of the consultation. Speaking on behalf of the union, Myles said: “We’re concerned that the University will not be utilising some external input to interpret the responses. If the responses are not analysed by impartial experts to draw out the most important elements of student requirements then the validity of consultation process will suffer.”
UEA Student Experience Survey breakdown Assessment feedback inadequate Music students feel abandoned Michael Drummond News reporter The 2012 UEA Student Experience survey results show that assessment feedback approval has taken a hit. Feedback satisfaction has fallen by over 10% across several Arts and Humanities schools. Other problem categories include student representation and post-graduate student experience. The annual Student Experience Report, compiled by Union officers, collates student satisfaction ratings across a variety of faculties, as well as other areas of university life. Academic Officer Josh Bowker, who helped write the report, said: “the Student Experience Report should be seen as a tool by the University to help it continue on a path that separates this institution from all others.” The survey results indicate that both the “promptness and quality” of assessment feedback are significant problems in the Arts and Humanities faculty. For instance, only 47% of American Studies students agreed that feedback on their work had been prompt, compared with 88% last year. Meanwhile a medical student described their feedback as “very poor.” They also remarked that despite the score, they were given “no reflection on what areas need improvement.” However, the faculty of Social Sciences has improved the promptness with which it returned essays. Despite this, few schools within the faculty are better than the UEA average. When compared to other institutions, UEA falls below the average satisfaction for overall feedback. In the Student
Experience results booklet, the Union recommends that all schools go through student work “collaboratively with their students to create a feedback form that works for their school.” Another issue that concerning students has been the system of academic hubs introduced last year. A student from the school of History said that: “I do not feel that the hub fully takes into account the individual and organisational needs of the students and their module leaders.” Problems with student representation were also raised. The report stated that a “lack of communication” led to only 54 of the known 291 student representatives receiving training. It describes the existing system as “cumbersome” and recommends that all schools “engage with the Union to enhance the skills of their student reps.” The Student Experience booklet also indicates that post-graduate student life at UEA could be improved. It says that “postgraduates still feel a level of disassociation with the university and the union which affects their overall experience.” Furthermore, it accuses the university of not doing enough to accommodate them. The union recommends that the university create a non-alcoholic space that would act as a “social hub” for postgraduate students. Finally, international students have also reported lower satisfaction ratings. While the vast majority (92%) of international students agreed that staff are good at explaining things, less thought that staff made subjects interesting (72%, down from 84% last year).
Rhian Poole Sidonie Chaffer-Melly News reporter A report in the UEA Student Experience survey has shown a staggering drop in satisfaction among students in the School of Music. Following the closure of the department, student satisfaction has fallen from 88% to just 46% with almost all scores falling by at least 25%. Although it is suggested that some may be using the survey as an outlet to protest against the closure, the dramatic change of statistics can also be explained by many students’ feelings of abandonment by the university. There was a strong campaign against the decision with a 10,000 strong signature petition and vocal protests.
Although the vice-chancellor agreed to ensure the standard of teaching would remain to its highest standard, all the senior lecturers have subsequently made the decision to leave UEA. This prompted many students to leave the university altogether, fearing that the level of teaching would not be kept up to scratch. The report quotes a student as saying “since the school closure has been announced, the standard of teaching has fallen through the floor.” The document concludes by stating that the union’s recommendation is “that the university ensures that student representation in the School of Music is a priority and runs as efficiently as possible to ensure that any issues are dealt with rapidly and effectively.”
Knock knock: Operation Octane targets criminals Norfolk Drew Nicol News reporter Norfolk Constabulary are hailing the success of their latest high-profile effort to reduce crime in Norfolk and Norwich, codenamed Operation Octane. The primary focus of the operation was a crackdown on drug-related crime and resulted in over 30 arrests earlier this month. In Norwich, raids were conducted on houses in Heathgate and Lavengro Roads, where a 22-year-old man was arrested. Police found over 20 wraps of cannabis and several rolls of cash. Over 100 cannabis plants were seized during the operation in addition to thousands of pounds in drug money. Assistant Chief Constable Gareth Wilson commented on the operation’s success, saying: “Norfolk is one of the
safest counties in England and Wales for a reason, and that is because we work closely with our communities to identify problems and then take appropriate action swiftly to resolve them.” Operation Octane also focused on rural and night-time crime prevention through “high visibility mounted patrols” and visits to scrap yards and other rural areas. In addition, there were sniffer dog teams on patrol throughout the night in Norwich, searching for and confiscating drugs. The operation was widely publicised, with photos and videos being published online and a team of reporters following the police’s movements. The police received positive feedback in comments from members of the public. The operation aimed to highlight the hard work and dedication of the police in their efforts to make Norfolk a safe place to live in.
Chaffinch stuck in library labyrinth Campus Joshua Clarke-Holland News reporter It isn’t just freshers who get lost in UEA’s library. A studious chaffinch flew through an open window of floor two on Tuesday 9 October. Despite the efforts of estates staff and a large net, the distressed bird proved too difficult to catch, and high level lower windows were eventually opened for it to find its own way out. Librarian Duncan Westlake said: “We hope it did manage to escape. We have certainly found no grisly evidence to suggest otherwise.”
International Day of the Girl UEA researcher develops Child at the Norwich Forum natural landscape app Norwich Sofie Cacoyannis News reporter
Events at the Norwich Forum earlier this month marked the first “International Day of the Girl Child.” Visitors to the Forum between 10 and 11 October might have noticed an exhibition featuring work that was created by young people at schools and organisations across the region, as well as some UEA academic posters. The “International Day of the Girl Child” is a resolution adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 2011, and will be held every 11 October. The term “girl child” is used to distinguish the unique challenges faced by females under the age of 18. According to the U.N., the annual girls’ rights day will: “help galvanize
worldwide enthusiasm for goals to better girls’ lives, providing an opportunity for them to show leadership and reach their full potential.” The focus of the first International Day of the Girl Child was child marriage. Organisers stressed that education is one of the best strategies for protecting girls, highlighting the worrying statistic that every three seconds a girl in the poorest part of the world is forced to marry against her will. The Forum hosted exhibitions and talks, including one titled “The Hunger Games and female adolescence” and another called “Tween Popular Culture and Young Female Celebrity Scandal.” For more information on organising or getting involved in future events, download the “Day of the Girl toolkit” at dayofthegirl.org.learn.
University Kathryn Fox News reporter
Sarah Taigel, a UEA PhD student from the School of Environmental Sciences has utilised advances in technology to develop an educational app. The app is designed to make knowledge of the natural world more accessible to the public. Through the creation of a mobile phone application, she hopes to discover whether mobile phone technology can be used to motivate or aid people in learning more about nature. The app will utilise a handset’s camera and mapping software in order to educate the user about the landscape they are viewing. Ms. Taigel’s aim is to “demonstrate how technology can be used to communicate ideas and information about landscapes in their current form, and how those areas
could change in the future.” However, she requires the assistance of volunteers to achieve this. Ms. Taigel is running three sets of walks throughout October around the Norwich area, during which volunteers can trial the application and its interactional functions, and give constructive feedback. For more information about the project and to volunteer for the sessions, visit futurelandscapes.wordpress.com.
Chapelfield evacuated Norwich Ilyas Christofides News reporter Chapelfield shopping centre was forced to close after a fire scare on Saturday 13th October, resulting in the complete evacuation of staff and shoppers. The fire alarm started at 2:50pm, and was followed immediately by an announcement warning shoppers to leave immediately. Following emergency protocol, all staff congregated Chapelfield Park to partake in a roll call and wait for further notice. Four fire crews arrived from Sprowston, Carrow, Earlham and Wroxham, and found that the alarm was triggered on the upper nevel next to Hotel Chocolat. The alarm was triggered by
residual smoke caused by the overheating of machinery being used to renovate the store formerly known as T.M. Lewin. A spokesman for Chapelfield said: “We can confirm that there was a small incident at Chapelfield on Saturday afternoon resulting in an evacuation of the centre just before 3pm.” It was not until 5:15pm that members of staff were allowed back inside, by which time the shoppers had flocked elsewhere and it was nearing closing time. A frustrated John Roseby of Pasty Café reasoned that it was a rare occurrence in an otherwise organised and very efficient shopping centre. On a lighter note, a football match developed between members of staff, with the Apple geniuses taking on the aptly named Sports Direct team.
Looking at the Keynote speeches Zoe Jones Comment writer When I’m watching the political party conferences, I liken them to a boxing match. For me, that’s the most interesting way of looking at them because let’s be honest, without a little creativity, unless you’re one of the enthusiastic audience members that practically yell “hallelujah!” at the promise of cheaper pasties then they’re not all that thrilling. Although I’m lying, I would have an asthma attack if someone promised me cheap pasties. The game truly begins once the party leaders have delivered their keynote speeches. It’s the time when they are thrust into the spotlight of public demand and the routine with the cuddliest pledges and greatest appeal comes closer to winning the public’s vote and, if recent history is anything to go by, public aversion. This year the conference locations seemed to be ideally suited to each party, Labour in Labour-loving Manchester, the Tories in Birmingham and of course the Lib Dems in Brighton, so Cleggy could be easily chucked into
the sea. So what sugar coated policies have the party leaders got to offer us this time? In the red corner is Ed Miliband who swaggers up to the podium looking untouchably confident, after all Labour haven’t added to the dirty pint that is the British economy since 2010, what have they got to worry about? Despite Miliband stealing “One Nationism” which was initially made famous by the Torys’ own Benjamin Disraeli, he has been accused of not practising what he preaches. After all, One Nation is inclusive and it seems that Ed still draws a North/South divide by alienating the higher classes, making them public enemy number one and showing himself as being on the side of “ordinary people.” But what defines an “ordinary person”? “One nation, where everyone has a stake.” I like mine medium rare, thanks babe. However what I like the most about Ed Miliband is his ability to reach out and empathise with the working class population. Miliband paints a promising picture of vocational subjects and apprenticeships which, despite what people might say about them, can provide a strong career foundation for those who
find the concept of exams terrifying. You might be able to do algebraic equations until your eyes burst or write page after page about internal combustion engines, but if your car broke down you’d sure wish you knew how to fix one. Over in the blue corner, David Cameron defends his title, striving for greatness through aspiration with what was inarguably a well structured, personal and motivational speech. The Prime Minister asserts the idea of an “aspiration nation’”as one he truly believes in, describing his own upbringing as “not a hard-luck story, but
a hard-work story”. All was going well for the Tories for me until his pledge to stamp out “soft subjects” crawled under my skin and poked me, saying in a mocking tone: “Media degree? That’s a Mickey Mouse subject.” I don’t think there is such thing as a soft subject, people work equally as hard in the fields they want to be in. Now I’m not entirely sure where to put the Lib-Dems in all of this, metaphorically speaking there are only two fighting corners in the boxing ring, Cleggy can be a little yellow puddle in the middle of the ring. So-so-sorry.
Photographs from a grassy knoll Joshua Smithers Comment writer If you have been keeping up with current "reality" news, I'm sure you are familiar with the scandalous actions of such people as Kate Middleton, who brazenly decided too take of her top in a private residence on holiday in France. I personally was appalled until I realised I wasn't a reader of said unmentioned publications. There has always been sensationalist media and there has always been a market for photographers to create stories, but as technology improves so too does the voyeurism of the news and its audience. The images of a topless Kate Middleton published in the French edition of Closer magazine is a prime example. Taken with a 800-1000mm lens on a road further up the mountain hundreds of metres away, intruding on a private occasion,
supposedly justified by popular attention. Now don't get me wrong, this isn't an anti-paparazzi piece, I enjoy seeing Ryan Gosling drinking coffee and Lindsay Lohan punching a bouncer as much as the next guy. If the photographer keeps out of the way I'm not going to call it artistic, but they should be able to photograph celebrities in public places. What I do find issue in are the lamprey lens hounds feeding off private occasions to satisfy an insatiable public. Photojournalism in its golden age stood in high regard. The work of photographers from such publications as Life and Time magazine have documented the turning points of the past century not just for profit but for a belief that the public should see the world around them and the changes that will affect their life. When the American photographer Edward Weston said “Anything more than 500 yards from the car just isn't photogenic” he seemed too have amazing foresight towards the pixelated image of the future
Queen's breasts. This is not to say photojournalism has died, there are still professionals and a growing amateur class who attempt to seek out the important truth and publish online to sites like Getty Images
reportage. Personally, it seems an insult to photographers like Robert Capa who died in pursuit of their craft that the most talked about images come from situations where the greatest threat is falling from the grassy knoll.
Why the courts shouldn’t crack the former Whip
Joe Ferris Comment writer On Friday, Conservative chief whip Andrew Mitchell failed to quell calls for his resignation after his highly publicised outburst against Downing Street Police. The incident arose after officers asked him to dismount his bicycle to use the pedestrian gate. Frustrated at this, Mitchell allegedly swore several times at the officers calling them ‘plebs’ and ‘morons’. The official police report records that Mitchell used those words, however he strongly claims somewhat cryptically, that he did not use the words ‘attributed to him’. As the calls for his resignation mounted, Labour had tabled a motion in Parliament for his salary to be docked £1,000, the typical penalty for a public order offence. Mitchell apologised for his behaviour to both the Police force and the individual officers who dealt with him, attributing
his rant to a frustrating day at work. The head of the Metropolitan Police and the officer present have accepted his apology. Nevertheless, it seems Labour did not let the story fade away without squeezing every drop of bad publicity they can from the incident. Ed Miliband took the opportunity to capitalise on the Chief Whip’s mistake, claiming he’s ‘toast’ at the first Prime Ministers questions since the summer recess. Cameron gave no excuses for Mitchell’s behaviour, and rightly so. There can be no condoning the actions of the Chief Whip. His behaviour towards the police was absolutely unacceptable, but Labour’s idea to dock £1,000 from his salary would have been wrong for several reasons. For a political party to decide that they should enforce a criminal sanction on an MP undermines not only the Police force, but the criminal justice system as a whole. The police had complete discretion to arrest Mitchell if they felt it necessary. Their
decision not to arrest the Chief Whip did not prevent them from referring the case to court, if they felt that was necessary too. Ignoring these decisions undermines the police, and infers that their decision was ultimately wrong in not dealing with the situation adequately. Mitchell, if referred by the police, would then proceed to court, where all the facts would be established in front of a Magistrate who would be independent from Government. He would be qualified to calculate the appropriate level of sentence based on the particulars of the crime. Members of Parliament are not qualified in the same respect. They are in their nature, politically biased, and are likely to seek a punishment disproportionate to the crime. There is no case to excuse Mitchell’s behaviour, but there is equally no case for Labour to take justice into their own hands. His resignation may have been appropriate, but giving a criminal penalty without going through the courts is not.
Is lowering the voting age a wise decision?
Abortion policy should be based on evidence, not opinion Livvy Brown Comment writer Jeremy Hunt, the newly appointed Health Secretary, sent shockwaves across the political spectrum on October 5, when he announced that he supported a dramatic reduction in the UK abortion limit to 12 weeks – half the current limit. The backlash was immediate and the Conservatives rapidly turned to damage control, with Cameron stating that these were Hunt’s personal views, and had no bearing on current government policy. Hunt cited “medical evidence” as the reason behind his views, although he has no medical training. His lack of experience is expected, and supposedly compensated for with the vast numbers of advisors and boards. But what happens when these advisors are ignored? David Nutt was chairman of the Government’s Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD). In 2009 he published research in which he found that, statistically speaking, taking ecstasy carried lower risks than horse riding. This was supported by a vast body of scientific evidence, but caused a firestorm in government. Nutt was dismissed from his post.
Regardless of a politician’s academic or professional background, it is paramount that they respect the expertise of their peers. Hunt made vague references to ‘medical evidence’ when stating his beliefs on abortion - despite the fact that scientific consensus states that the 24-week limit is both medically and morally sufficient. Hunt is still wet around the ears in his role as Health Secretary, and errant remarks are, to an extent, understandable. However, it is important that Hunt realises the dividing line between personal beliefs and policy. We are lucky enough to live in a country where we are entitled to believe in whatever we want. I am proud that, in this country, women are entitled to freedoms and rights that are denied them in countless areas across the globe. Abortion is a divisive issue, and rightly so. Decisions regarding human lives should never be taken lightly. They should not be made subject to religion or personal opinion. They must respect the rights of women to take charge of their own bodies – and they must be based on concrete scientific evidence. Hunt is entitled to his opinion, provided it remains just that.
Andrew Ansell Comment writer The terms of the Scottish referendum for 2014 recently signed by SNP leader Alex Salmond and Prime Minister David Cameron permit those from the age of 16 to vote in a move that reignites the debate of extending the franchise to 16 and 17 year olds. In a move driven by cynicism rather than a desire to extend democracy, the SNP hope to achieve much needed support amongst younger voters who are more inclined to consider giving them their vote. Advocates of votes for 16 commonly put forward the argument that a 16-year-olds’ ability to successfully complete a GCSE course shows they have shown the maturity to vote. This is a very poor analogy. To sit GCSEs students were provided with two years education to be able to make informed decisions. Whereas, 16-year-olds receive no educational assistance concerning voting. For the issue to become a serious possibility, it is contingent upon education. Introducing the basis of political education at lower school
by teaching core party history and policy will foster a sense of political consciousness amongst the young. Its absence breeds apathy which goes far in accounting for the poor voter turnout amongst younger voters. Without this introduction to politics at a younger age, a consciousness or sense that politics matters will only develop when electors understand the force of government policies on their lives after leaving the sheltered life of schooling. Unsurprisingly, only 44% of those aged 18-24 voted in the 2010 general election. Extending the franchise to 16 and 17 year olds will only exacerbate an already worrying statistic. Needless to say, a poorer turnout will damage a government’s mandate to implement its manifesto commitments. The future extension of the franchise to those aged 16 and 17 for Westminster elections could hinge on the opportunity that Scottish 16 and 17-year-olds have been given to vote in the Scottish referendum. Labour leader Ed Miliband as an advocate for votes for 16 may very well use this Scottish ‘case study’ to further his case in the future; whether as a policy in opposition or in office.
The high price of Russia’s veto
Alex George Comment writer It’s hard to believe that 18 months after violence first broke out, the United Nations Security Council has still failed to act on the continuing civil war in Syria. Most of the blood of the 40,000 reported casualties is on Russia’s hands. The violence used by the Assad regime has been widely condemned, with an August resolution in the UN General Assembly calling for an end to the violence receiving support from 133 nations with just 12 opposing. Yet Russia and China still refuse to allow sanctions to be imposed and continue to veto every resolution that comes before them. Despite the Russian government issuing a statement indicating the need for political reform in Syria, their hollow
words have not yet been backed with any action. Perhaps Russian president Vladimir Putin’s close friendship with Syrian president Bashar al-Assad is not the only problem. With the latest Turkish accusations that they are continuing to sell arms to the Syrian government, Russia are no longer just passively allowing the
murder of innocent Syrian civilians, but appear to be taking an active role in their murder. According to sources, some 10% of arms exported by Russia are sold to President Assad, amounting to a $10bn incentive for them to continue abusing their role on the Security Council. Without sanctions, these deals are perfectly
legal, but as the US State Department’s spokesperson described it, Russia’s policy towards Syria is “morally bankrupt”. While many cite concerns of an escalating regional crisis as grounds for refusing to impose sanctions on Syria, their fear may be being realised. In the past few months, the Syrian army has killed two Turkish pilots who they accuse of straying into their airspace, and five Turkish civilians in border villages. In response, Turkey have returned fire with increasing frequency, and have begun to assemble their military close to the border. As a member of Nato, Turkey are entitled to invoke Article Five of the North Atlantic Treaty, which would require all members to react as if their territory had too been attacked by Syria. Despite them both closing their airspace to the other’s aircraft in the past week, Turkey maintain that they have no desire for a military conflict with Syria, but how much more provocation will Turkey stand? Perhaps it’s time for the Security Council to reconsider sanctions on Syria, with their vetoes holstered.
Into Gangnam Style EU awarded Nobel Peace Prize Alice Huang Global writer
PSY, a pop singer from South Korea, may be the hottest man in the world right now. His single, Gangnam Style, has had over 300 million hits online and has become famous worldwide. With its exaggerated musical form, repetition and the unique horse-riding dance, students in many countries have been imitating the music video. The song has become a fashion trend and now Into at UEA are organizing their own Gangnam Style flash mob. Training sessions have been organized by Into staff and students. Kurt Lee, a former student at Into and current member of the Dancesport Society at UEA, has been teaching the dance to students. He said: “Into has lots of international students who have come from different countries and different cultures. This training session gets students together and having fun. Also, many UEA students don’t know where the Into building is and what work we do. “I hope this event will help in promoting Into to all UEA staff and students. There are many international students here
and Into is the bridge that helps many of them get settled into life at UEA. It also provides a platform that enriches the students’ extracurricular life.” There were 40 students who took part in the first training session with even more people joining in the week after, boosting the total number to approximately 60 students. The organisers divided the session into two groups, one for beginners to learn the basics and one for experienced students to focus on the more difficult dance moves. Betty, an Into student from China, stated: “It’s fantastic and we can basically master the movements within an hour. I love this song and dance and I think it’s the happiest music in the world.” Sheldon, who is also a student at Into, said: “I like Korean culture and know many Korean people in my hometown [Beijing]. The dance is very difficult, but lots of fun.” To some students at Into, Gangnam Style is more than just a song. It’s become a way to get people together through music and give people in the UK, and other countries, the chance to experience Korean culture.
Alex George Global writer In 1950, French foreign minister Robert Shuman envisioned a united Europe where war would be “Not only unthinkable but also materially impossible.” Now, 52 years later, the European Union (EU) has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. The EU has come a long way since its predecessor of which Shuman was speaking, the six-member European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC). The ECSC was created to enable France and West Germany to share resources, making the development of arms difficult and a new war between the two almost impossible. Today the EU is a 27 member single market governed by many constituent institutions with individual aims. These include standardising law on designated topics through lawmakers in the Commission, Council and Parliament, while also allowing Member States the opportunity to opt into more extensive integration; such as economic integration with the European Central Bank and single currency, as well as promoting social integration with borderless travel in the Schengen Area. The EU’s receipt of the award has been negatively received by many in the UK. The Norwegian Nobel Committee justified the award, stating: “For over six decades it has contributed to the advancement of peace and reconciliation, democracy and human rights in Europe.” This description of the EU has been widely refuted by the British press. Many argue that while the EU has drawn France and Germany closer together, it’s done little to advance “peace and reconciliation” elsewhere in one example being Kosovo, where the UN and Nato led efforts to restore peace. The famed Eurosceptic leader of
UKIP and a Member of the European Parliament, Nigel Farage, claimed that awarding the Nobel Peace Prize to the EU has brought the prize into “disrepute”, pointing out the violent demonstrations in Athens during German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s recent visit as an example of how the EU does not warrant the prize. The Nobel Prize is rarely awarded without controversy surrounding the decision. Both Barack Obama and Liu Xiaobo are prime examples of this from recent years.
“international reaction toward the Norwegian Nobel Committee’s selection has been much more positive” Despite the poor showing of support in the UK, international reaction toward the Norwegian Nobel Committee’s selection has been much more positive. The Secretary General of Nato noted that the EU has “Played a vital role in healing the wounds of history.” Perhaps the Nobel Committee were focusing not just on the healing of wounds from the second world war, but also the EU’s prevention of a third world war. It’s difficult to find an example of the EU promoting peace since the organisations greatest achievement is an absence of war. Just a few years after two wars ravaged the continent France and Germany were united when the two countries could easily have deviated from peace, as they had done in 1939. The EU’s achievements in promoting peace have been recognised outside of Europe with US secretary of state Hillary Clinton stating: “It’s quite remarkable to see how unified and peaceful Europe is in the 21st century and that did not happen by coincidence.”
Santa Claus: coming to Washington? Robert Norris Global editor Santa Claus is running for the US presidency as a write-in candidate in a number of states. This means that voters can cast their ballots for the jolly old man by writing his name on the ticket themselves. According to his campaign website, he
has served as a volunteer child advocate, a peace activist and a monk. He also claims to have “Served as special assistant to the deputy police commissioner, administration of New York City (NYPD), director of the Terrorism Research and Communication Centre (Tracc), and member of the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s National Defence Executive Reserve.”
Santa Claus has most recently been working as the director for the Santa Claus Foundation, a group which advocates against the institutionalisation of abused and neglected children in the USA. His campaign slogan claims that he is “Restoring America’s Heart and Soul”, but if he is the real Santa (his campaign site states that “Santa Claus” is his real name) can he legally run for the presidency?
Well, if he were the real Santa Claus then the answer is no. According to Article Two of the US Constitution, only those whose parents are US citizens or are born in the USA themselves can be elected president. Unfortunately, since Santa Claus is originally from the North Pole, it seems unlikely that we’ll ever see him sitting in the Oval Office.
No more Page 3?
Features writer Ellen Thornton looks at the new campaign against The Sun’s infamous daily feature experiences as a glamour model. “It was a very different world back then,” she explained. “I have a daughter now and I wouldn’t want her to be any part of [the] industry [today].” In addition, former FHM editor Ross Brown has showed his support. Commenting in a recent interview he said “you can’t defend the indefensible. I think there’s a time and a place – and we’re past it.” However many have taken a lassiez-faire attitude towards the campaign. Comments such as “if you don’t like it, don’t look” have been sprawled all over the internet and some disgruntled tweeters have argued that “given the variety of our newspapers, Page 3 is easily avoided.” Britain upholds a freedom of speech that allows publications to print whatever they see fit, within certain guidelines. For this reason, deputy prime minister Nick Clegg declined to back the campaign on the grounds that it would be “deeply illiberal” for the government to dictate the content of newspapers.
“Boobs are not news. Half of the population have them and we all know what they look like. So why does the nation’s most widely read newspaper feel the need to flaunt them on Page 3?”
Boobs are not news. Half of the population have them and we all know what they look like. So why does the nation’s most widely read newspaper feel the need to flaunt them on Page 3? Lucy-Anne Holmes, leader of the “No More Page 3” campaign, is demanding answers. In a recent petition addressed to Dominic Mohan, editor of The Sun, Holmes has asked “very nicely” to “please, please, please” take topless girls out of the paper. Notably, when MP Clare Short tried to do the same in 1986, The Sun dismissed her as a boring killjoy and even produced an entire spread of Page 3 girls in a protest against her efforts. However, history aside, Holmes’ new
campaign, which began in September, has amassed nearly 50,000 supporters including the likes of celebrities such as Dawn Porter and Lauren Laverne. With a target of one million signatures, there is still a fair distance to go but Holmes is determined to irradiate this misogynistic tradition that condones the objectification of women in the media. Since 1970 The Sun, Britain’s leading tabloid, has printed photographs of seminude glamour models that circulate daily around breakfast tables and staff rooms across the country. A projected ideal of the female form is thrust under the noses of readers, many of whom account for the impressionable young generation.
“What saddens me,” says Holmes “is the effect this ‘women as a sexual object’ culture has on young people.” Young boys learn that it is acceptable to degrade and objectify women whilst young girls see the glamorised and unrealistic female figure as a norm “they fall short of.” Terence Blacker, a writer for The Independent, has lauded Holmes’s efforts stating that “those ridiculous photographs belong to another age and should be an embarrassment to those who publish them.” The campaign has also won some surprising support. Nina Carter, one of the first Page 3 girls in the 1970s, has spoken out about her
British society is somewhat hypocritical when it comes to prurient matters. There was national outcry when topless pictures of the Duchess of Cambridge appeared in French tabloids, yet regular photos of Page 3 models are unabashed. What is more, This Morning, one of the country’s most popular daytime talk shows, shares wholesome recipes and deals with topical current affairs but is presented by ex-lingerie model Holly Willoughby who boasts the “best celebrity cleavage.” The nude Page 3 glamour model plays a role in the wider “pornification” of society in general. Whilst imploring Mohan to cease print of such images will not single handedly solve the issue, Lucy-Anne Holmes believes it is a positive step in the right direction. There is a time and a place for breasts, and Holmes simply argues that Page 3 is not it. George Alagiah does not introduce the six o’clock news with a topless model; is it too much to expect the same for our newspapers?
“The Big Issue has given me everything.” Features writer Aniefiok Ekpoudom met up with the new face of Big Issue on campus, Simon. Previously a visible presence on the streets of Norwich, this year he has brought his unique style to UEA. The last Big Issue vendor on campus, Martin, was well liked around the university. Did you ever meet him? I knew both Steven (another former Big Issue seller on campus) and Martin, and I now look after Steve’s dog Poppy. It was Martin that taught me how to sell when I first started selling the Big Issue. He is doing fine and as far as I’m aware he has set up a guide dogs business. Steve now has a full-time job on a building site, but I told him if he ever gets laid off for a long period over winter due to bad weather, I will step aside for him to come back and sell here. Are you confident that you can fill his shoes? Time will tell. When did you start selling the Big Issue and why Norwich? I started selling three years ago. Why
Norwich? When you’ve travelled round the country you soon realise that Norwich is the nicest city in England. It definitely deserves the name “The fine city.” If you’ve been to the Midlands you’ll know what I’m talking about. What other city could I leave my stuff downstairs by Waterstones and know that it’s going to still be there when I get back? Why is the Big Issue so important? Without the Big Issue I would have nothing. I would either be on benefits or begging in a doorway. The Big Issue has given me everything.
probably tell me to shut up. I still do them but here it’s just a totally different atmosphere. Would you like to hear a couple of the rhymes? Go for it. When I was young I had the sense, I bought a Big Issue for 50p but now I’m going old and grey I sell the Big Issue for £2.40 a day! 21 years and still going strong, you know it makes sense and you can’t go wrong. Gather around and form a queue, come and buy a Big Issue! Very good! Finally, what is the meaning of life?
Survival. Getting from A to B and trying to last as long as you can. I’ve totally changed my opinion since I became homeless because prior to that the meaning of life was to make as much money as I could. My bank account was my scorecard but when I lost everything, I realised you don’t need three televisions. As long as you’ve got food in your stomach and a clean shirt to put on, you don’t need anything else. Simon will be on campus on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 10 until 2:30. Go and say hello, have a chat and grab a copy of the Big Issue!
Are you enjoying your time at the UEA so far? It’s a lot quieter than I expected. There’s a lot of standing around in between lectures. When Martin came back, we ended up sat around in the bar, and at £2.40 a pint, it would have been rude not to! I hear rumours of you rhyming in town. Is that something you’ll bring here? Well in town it’s more open; you can really hit it with a few good lines. It’s so enclosed down there near Waterstones and the Paper Shop that if I started shouting they would
Hidden gems of Norwich Features writer Rachael Lum reveals some of Norwich’s best-kept secrets The Waffle House Most people in Norwich have been to, or at least heard of, The Waffle House on St. Giles Street. Imagine having fresh Belgian waffles for any meal of the day, complete with savoury or sweet toppings, from Greek salad or bolognaise to chocolate mousse or hot apples. Don’t just take our word for it – the place is always buzzing with people, even on rainy days. If you find yourself stuck on your first visit, the banoffee waffle and the pecan nut waffle with butterscotch sauce are both gorgeous options to help get you acquainted. The little eatery has seen few changes since it opened in 1979, and whether it’s the unique concept or tranquil atmosphere, it will probably look, smell and taste the same long after you graduate. Norwich Puppet Theatre Just because it specialises in puppetry does not mean it is only for children. Its popularity extends to older audiences as the puppeteers are constantly experimenting with new ways of retelling fairy tales. On top of that, the theatre hosts many original, well-received productions by
the Norwich Puppet Theatre Company and other touring companies. This is also where the puppet-making workshops and international puppet festivals are held. Tombland Bookshop Independent bookstores are abundant in the city centre, but just across the road from the Norwich Cathedral is an antique bookshop that retains its 15th-century architectural design. The Tombland Bookshop buys and sells second hand books, as well as rare first and folio editions. The Plantation Garden If any place is truly a hidden gem in Norwich, it’s got to be the “Secret Garden”. Located on Earlham Road, the Victorian garden was forgotten in the second world war and rediscovered years later by accident. It is home to a Gothic fountain, Italian Renaissance terraces, medieval stonework and charming walkways. It’s quite a surreal place to be in at any time of the year. You are welcome to release the photographer in you, read a book, picnic or laze about in the oasis.
Expenses row: it’s not over yet Chris Teale investigates the next phase of the expenses scandal
The ongoing row about MP expense claims has threatened to escalate further after it was revealed that more than a quarter still claim for first class train travel, despite the practice being discouraged by the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (Ipsa). An analysis of expenses by the Sunday Telegraph revealed that 185 claimed the cost of first class tickets from taxpayers’ money in the past year, despite new rules being introduced in 2009. The Sunday Telegraph alleges that some claimed tickets cost as much as £300, which is five times more expensive than the cheapest standard ticket on the same route. The row was revealed last week when it emerged that chancellor George Osborne tried to sit in first class on a Virgin train despite having only paid for a standard ticket on his journey from Wilmslow in Cheshire to London Euston. It is still permissible under Ipsa’s rules for MPs to claim for a first-class ticket if it is cheaper to buy than a standard open ticket, but the latest developments have brought stinging criticism from the chief executive of the Taxpayers’ Alliance, Matthew Sinclair. He told The Guardian: “If MPs can get
themselves organised to order a first class ticket in advance, they should be able to order a standard-class ticket in plenty of time as well and it will almost always be cheaper. “If standard class travel isn’t good enough for MPs it isn’t good enough for ordinary commuters who pay for their own tickets.” This is the latest in a long line of new controversies surrounding what politicians claim on their expenses from the taxpayer, something that continues to rumble on despite the guidelines brought in after the 2009 scandal. Last week also saw another media storm over MPs claiming public money to rent another property while renting out their homes in London. It emerged that 27 rented their homes in London, including former cabinet members Andy Burnham, Liam Fox and Chris Bryant, and gave rise to new concerns that politicians were still capable of making a profit by manipulating their expense claims. In addition to this, the speaker of the House of Commons John Bercow has come under fire for preventing the publication of documents that identify MPs’ landlords,
which could have revealed a potentially embarrassing scenario where politicians rent properties off one another and still claim money from the public. In a letter on Wednesday, Bercow said: “The processing of the data … could involve causing unwarranted damage and distress. I should be grateful if you and your colleagues would reconsider such a plan.” He cited concerns about MPs’ addresses being revealed to the general public, but the move brings back memories of previous speaker Michael Martin and the loss of confidence in him after his perceived poor handling of the 2009 expenses scandal. The way that these rows continue to develop in the media perhaps shows the public still has a lack of confidence in their elected representatives, and that there is still an overriding concern that they are still keen to work the system in their favour. There is also some concern that Ipsa’s rules are not stringent enough to prevent politicians making money from their expense claims, either intentionally or otherwise. On the housing issue, Ipsa bans MPs claiming interest on their mortgages on expenses, with politicians only allowed to
claim money back for rent on a property. However, these rules do not prevent the situation like that of Labour MP Linda Riordan, who lets her London flat to her party colleague Ian McKenzie, and concern is still ride among an untrusting public that their representatives are continuing to ride the “gravy train.” Of course, as with any job that includes travel and accommodation expenses, provisions should be made for that to be claimed back under a transparent system, but this issue looks set to continue for some time. As Conservative MP Mark Field told BBC Radio 4’s World at One, politicians have to be open and honest about their expenses, otherwise they face seeing confidence in them undermined. He said: “I think the lesson is quite straightforward. If MPs want their affairs to be private, they shouldn’t be claiming any public money. “The worry is that trust will be further undermined in MPs.” Pressure will continue to mount on politicians, and with the pending release of further information, the expenses furore has not yet died down.
Iron Man of the ocean Peter Sheehan Environment writer Climate change is money these days. Arguably, it is our voracious appetite for profit and the pre-eminence of short-term economic concerns that has contributed to much of our current environmental predicament – it is just this that prevents us from finding meaningful solutions. Carbon-trading schemes, for example, allow more enthusiastic polluters to buy “unused” emissions (carbon credits) from the more environmentally scrupulous, thus giving climate change that much-needed neo-liberal angle. It was apparently with these in mind that the American businessman Russ George embarked on his recent do-it-yourself marine geoengineering experiment. In July, he dumped approximately 100 tonnes of iron sulphate into the northeast Pacific, just off the Canadian coast. That’s over 10 times what was added in a scientific study published around the same time. It appears that the iron fertilised a phytoplankton bloom that covered some 10,000km2. Not bad for a bloke in a fishing boat and a bag of dirt. Phytoplankton, which require iron to grow, are the plants of the ocean; they absorb carbon dioxide during photosynthesis, just like plants on land. When they die, they sink to the deep-sea floor and much of the absorbed carbon is taken down with them. This process is one of the most important ways
that carbon dioxide is taken out of the atmosphere. In terms of climate-change mitigation, this is good news! Recognising this, some scientists have suggested adding iron to the ocean to fertilise phytoplankton growth. They are particularly interested in the Southern Ocean, a region in which phytoplankton often struggle to grow because of the very low iron concentration. Their rationale is that an increase in happy, well-fed phytoplankton will lead to an increase in carbon dioxide removal from the atmosphere. Russ George’s rationale is that this will allow him to claim lucrative carbon credits because his business would have a net environmental benefit. But iron fertilisation is a pretty controversial business. The ecological consequences of meddling with the bottom of the food chain are potentially
severe, and no one understands fully just what they may be. There are worries that the artificial blooms could become toxic. What’s more, there are even doubts about how much extra carbon dioxide the phytoplankton can remove longterm. Consequently, there are fairly strict UN rules about who may conduct these experiments. American businessmen cannot. Geo-engineering is a delicate and uncertain, but potentially very important, science. If we are to discover ways in which it could genuinely help us, perhaps we should encourage Russ George et al. to experiment with alternative sources of revenue. And if the so called “climatefriendly” schemes we have put in place encourage such dangerous abuses, maybe we need to have a good look at them too.
The gourd, the bad and the ugly Matthew Brown Environment writer Food security is one of largest humanitarian challenges facing future populations. In recent years the threat of climate change and its influence on crop yields has been a major talking point for many scientists and campaigners. Extreme weather events such as droughts have had unprecedented effects on crop yields. Droughts are becoming more common, threatening global food markets and increasing prices. The UN recently gave warning of rising food costs as supermarkets struggle to stock their shelves. Although any one weather event cannot be definitely linked to manmade climate change, it can be said that today, no climate event is without human influence. The UK is particularly vulnerable due to our reliance on imported goods - we currently import 89% of our fruit and vegetables from abroad. It is not just droughts affecting crop harvest, however. UK food stocks have been affected by the wettest summer for over 100 years
(after the driest March in 59 years). Damp conditions have damaged many wellknown UK crops including strawberries, cauliflower and broccoli and British grape growers were forced to “blow-dry” crops in order to prevent rotting. Also, the National Farmers’ Union recently warned us of low wheat yields, another indicator of an upward pressure on prices. As a result, “ugly” fruit and vegetables are making their way onto our shelves as a result, as supermarkets relax their standards, selling produce that would normally be ploughed back into the land. The deformed potato pictured on the left gives an idea of the shape of things to come, which may not be entirely negative; the UK Soil Association estimates that 2040% of UK produce is rejected due to its appearance before it reaches the shops. While perfectly edible food being “graded in” instead of out is a welcome change to many, climate change is continually damaging food production and causing prices to soar, requiring urgent action to slash emissions and an overhaul of our agricultural system.
Ditch the disposables Eva Gaida Environment writer
Periods are not everyone’s favourite subject to discuss (when really, talking about menstruation should not be awkward or shameful for enlightened adults), but the growing environmental impact of disposable products such as packaging, plastic plates and cups, but also tampons and pads is too concerning to ignore. According to the Women’s Environmental Network, the use of tampons, pads and applicators in the UK creates 200,000 tonnes of waste per year, making up over 7% of items flushed down the toilet in the UK. The waste goes to landfill, is incinerated or ends up in our seas and rivers. The Beachwatch survey found that for every kilometre of beach covered in the survey around 23 pads/backing strips and nine tampon applicators were found. We try to be environmentally conscious in so many ways, exchanging disposable items like plastic bags and cups for ecofriendly, reusable alternatives. As an alternative to tampons, menstrual cups have been growing in popularity over the past years. Essentially, a menstrual cup is a silicone cup that fits around the cervix and just catches instead of absorbing. Different brands have their own names for them, the Mooncup and Divacup being the most well-known ones, but they’re all basically the same thing (Mooncups are even sold on campus). Apart from being better for the environment menstrual cups also save money otherwise spent on disposable products again and again. Why haven’t women been doing this all along ... I know, right? Apart from the environmental impact, so-called feminine hygiene products (does that imply women are dirty?) carry health concerns. A problem commonly associated with tampons is Toxic Shock Syndrome. as menstrual cups are made from non-absorbent material they do not provide a breeding ground for bacteria like tampons do, even more reason to switch. Menstrual cups and other green alternatives can be found at www.femininewear.co.uk.
Science & Tech
Colours of the solar wind Suhailah Ali Science writer It was a dark, clear sky, the sun was hurling particles into space, and colours danced over the UK. The aurora borealis, predominantly visible from very northern latitudes including Scandinavia and Canada, made a special appearance over Scotland, Northern Ireland and parts of England, including the Isle of Man, and even venturing as far south as east Sussex on the night of 8 October 2012. The northern lights are usually only glimpsed in the UK a few nights each year, as it is rare for all the conditions to be favourable. Sarah Reay of the British Geological Survey’s geomagnetism team explained: “the magnetic storm lasted 48 hours and the peak was perfectly centred
in our night-time”. However, magnetic storms are just a small part of the story. As the original gigantic thermonuclear reactor, the sun is continuously fusing hydrogen atoms into helium, producing the heat we all know and love. It is during this process that a steady stream of particles is ejected from the surface. This is known as solar wind, and consists mainly of electrons and protons, reaching speeds of up to 750 km/sec. As they approach earth, the particles are deflected by the planet’s internal magnetic field, forming the magnetosphere. Particles that break free of the magnetosphere accelerate along the earth’s magnetic field towards the poles. When these particles enter the atmosphere, they collide with oxygen
and nitrogen, causing them to gain or lose electrons. In order to return to their normal state, they emit photons, and then light is produced. Oxygen atoms create the most common aurora colour, green, although those at high alitudes can produce red, whilst nitrogen creates blue or purple/red. The strength of the solar wind increases with the number of sunspots (dark spots on the surface of the sun resulting from intense magnetic activity). Every 11 years the solar activity peaks, which means more sunspots, the associated solar flares and coronal mass ejections (CME). Solar flares are large explosions in the solar atmosphere, often followed by CMEs, huge bursts of solar wind. It was a CME that caused our special light show. When CMEs collide with
the magnetosphere, the resulting disturbance, or magnetic storm, pushes more particles into the atmosphere which creates brighter, more frequent spectacles. The more solar activity, the more magnetic storms, and further south the lights move; the solar storm of 1859 brought the aurora borealis to Rome! The next solar maximum is predicted for 2013, and although it’s expected to be quite weak, perhaps it will be worth keeping an eye out for a glow in the night sky.
Breaking the sound barrier Honey you’re looking blue Dominic Burchnall Science writer
If you’ve been even remotely connected to the internet over the past few weeks, you’ll no doubt have heard of Felix Baumgartner, the Austrian maverick who broke into the history books on 14 October 2012 by becoming the first human to break the sound barrier without mechanical assistance, freefalling from 128,000 feet from a custom-built capsule. As he fell, Baumgartner reached speeds touching on 833mph, also known as Mach 1.24, nearly half as fast again as the speed of sound. But did you know his achievement comes exactly 65 years after humans first broke the sound barrier? Chuck Yeager was an American fighter pilot who fought in the second world war, and whose experience, nerve and 270 hours of flying combat missions meant that, in June 1947, he was chosen as the first man to try to fly through the sound barrier. Rather like Baumgartner’s custom-built pressurised capsule, the Stratos, the Bell X-1 aircraft was specially adapted to the task in hand. It was modelled after the shape of a .50 calibre bullet, made to withstand
forces in excess of 18G, and rather than taking off like a conventional jet had to be dropped from the belly of a modified B-29 Bomber. After four months, eight test flights and two broken ribs, Yeager was ready for the real thing. On 14 October 1947, Yeager and his plane were dropped from the bomb bay, levelled off at 42,000 feet, and opened the taps. Just a few short minutes later, Chuck Yeager became the first human to travel faster than the speed of sound. His flight instruments clocked him at his fastest speed of Mach 1.06, nearly 700mph. In June 1948, when the test flight became public knowledge, Yeager became known as “The Fastest Man Alive”. Since he first set that record, the sound barrier has been broken many more times and at greater speeds, often by Yeager himself, who managed a flight five years later in which he hit Mach 2.44, over 1,650 mph. Now Baumgartner has managed to break the original record without even using an aeroplane. Makes you curious about how fast we’ll be travelling in another 65 years’ time.
Toby Samuels Science writer Those of you sitting in the Hive and perusing through this issue of Concrete, may notice some of the vibrant colours surrounding you; from the blue noticeboards above your heads to the red couch you have nestled into. It may surprise you however, to hear that bees in the town of Ribeauville, France, have been enjoying their own form of colourful decorating. Earlier this month, the town’s apiculturists, more commonly known as beekeepers, were surprised to find their hives glistening with red, blue and green honey. Head of the Apiculturists Society Andre Frieh, says that he has seen honey ranging from golden yellows to dark browns but never these unnatural colours. The source of these strange colours came from sugars used to make M&M chocolates, which the bees obtained from a nearby biogas plant that has been processing waste from a Mars production factory. Collecting bees would have eaten these coloured sugars and stored them in a second stomach before mouth to mouth transferring the mixture to worker bees, who themselves store the sugars in their stomachs. Here enzymes breakdown the complex sugars into simple ones, resulting in a raw honey mix that is spread into honeycomb cells to dry. Due to the harsh winter followed by the very wet summer this year, European honey bees (Apis mellifera) have been unable to forage sufficient amounts of nectar and pollen from wild flowers. This therefore means that they have resorted
to collecting sugars from alternative sources which, in the case of bees in Ribeauville region, has been waste coloured sugars found in the biogas plant. Although green honey on toast may seem like a novel and attractive breakfast, Frieh has found the situation far less amusing. Deemed as unfit for market, large quantities of honey will go to waste in a region where 2400 beekeepers rely on the 1000 tonnes of honey produced annually for their income. This disaster hits at a hard time as honey bee numbers continue to decline for a variety of reasons, including the epidemic spread of varroa mites (a parasite of honey bees) and viral infections.
Living on the rock Johnnie Bicket Travel writer Have you ever seen the Rock of Gibraltar? It rises from the flat Andalusian coast like a single giant boulder. It sharply climbs on one side, then gently rolls back into the sea on the other. Up there you can see all the way to the Atlas Mountains that lie across the straits. Sometimes at night I would walk down to the point and watch the hundreds of cargo ships, lit up, slowly chugging west to the Atlantic, or east to reach Suez. Behind them lies Tangier, so close that on a clear night you can see the individual street lamps on the highways that trundle all the way down to Marrakesh. Above Africa the full moon would hover, often tinted red by faraway sandstorms raging in the Sahara. I spent three months working in a hotel in Gibraltar, surrounded by a mixture of European and Moroccan co-workers. In the staff canteen conversations were conducted in English, French, Spanish, Italian, Polish, Arabic and Berber. On my days off I would explore the town, which is a little run down in places, but due
to Spain’s trade blackout with Gibraltar importing building materials from elsewhere is impractical. Nearly all fresh meat, fruit and vegetables come from Morocco. The Rock itself is scarred with hundreds of shell bursts and old cannonball marks from hundreds of years of warfare and being besieged by many different nations. It is riddled with miles of tunnels, mostly dug in the 18th century, but more recently in the second world war. You can go on guided tours to see various chambers and underground barracks, even the control room from where Eisenhower launched the invasion of North Africa. When driving around, it is common to see pillboxes and gun-slits poking out of the rock face. The top of the Rock is reachable by cable car, and offers outstanding views of Africa and southern Spain. There are also hundreds of gun emplacements and bunkers left behind by the allies, and these, combined with the presence of around 400 Barbary macaques, gives the Rock a distinctly surreal air. The apes are the only primates (other than humans) found in Europe, and
are incredibly crafty at stealing food out of your pockets. The old Gibraltarians (they call themselves “Yanitos”) speak an anglohispanic dialect of their own, which I would often overhear on Sundays when some of the old women would gather in the hotel for afternoon tea. Many of them lived for years fearing for what Franco might do; the dictator had such a hatred of the
Gibraltarians he destroyed entire border communities to build an oil refinery. The border was closed for years, making life very hard for the Gibraltarians. However, they stood by their characteristic stoicism and resisted pressures until the border was reopened in the eighties. The Gibraltarian motto, “Conquerable by No Enemy” sums up the fighting independence of its people best.
I know a great little place ... Patriotic fiesta in Catalonia Every week our writers will tell you their favourite place in the world. This week travel writer Jack Enright tells us about his favourite bar, the U Bakanyra in Prague Central Prague itself is nestled in a curve in the Vlatva River, and it's here that you can find my favourite place in the world, the U Bakanyra. Depending on the time of day, the U Bakanrya is either a bar, music venue, coffee house or open air barbecue, all situated on an ageing wooden houseboat. Below deck you will find a bar, complete with dirt-cheap Czech beer, and a cramped dance floor. Playing an eclectic mix of house and old school
techno through a surprisingly good sound system, the U Bukanyra floor is a local favourite and is rarely anything but heaving. The open air deck on the other hand is much more relaxed, offering barbecue food throughout the night and stunning dawn views up the Vlatva River. I find it hard to think of a better place to spend a Saturday night; drinks are cheap, the music is spot-on and the highoctane youth of Prague make sure you're not in bed until well past dawn. If there's a better bar in Prague, I'm yet to find it.
Sam Day Travel writer Imagine being surrounded by passion. Citizens adorned in yellow and red stripes in parading processions, flags waved to the heavens, walls of noise surrounding a city, forming a fortress of sound. This is the heart of Catalonia, and it’s party time. Home to six million people, Catalonia is located in Spain’s North-East. Every year, these six million celebrate their Catalan citizenship devotedly, with a million times more passion than any Englishman acknowledging St George’s Day. Though the celebrations may be exuberant throughout the whole region, no place celebrates Catalonia like its capital, Barcelona.
“This is the heart of Catalonia, and it’s party time” Swapping their replica Barca football strips for yellow and red (Catalonia’s colours), they bellow, “in, in-de, indepedencia!”, longing for independence from Spain. They’re a lot crazier than freshers though. A man walks in stilts, spouting Spanish to his fellow friendly Catalans, who greet him like an old friend. His eyecatching costume is stifling on a boiling hot day, but his patriotic dedication is much more important than his comfort.
Walking as bold as brass along the town square, he strides more like a King than a jester. Tourists may chuckle at his silly stilts, but his love for Catalonia is no laughing matter. He feels ten feet tall today, like every other proud Catalan in red and yellow. In fact, patriotic pride takes over tourism in Barcelona. While naïve tourists queue up outside cathedrals like they would queue in a canteen, on this day rather than just experiencing a good, nice, big Spanish city, they truly discover Barcelona’s brilliance as the beating heart of Catalonia. Barcelona thrives on this passionate atmosphere, in terms of spirit and money. Suddenly cheap tatty Barcelona mugs in grotty gift shops seem like sacred treasure. The fans are expensive (12 euros each!) but after experiencing this place, it’s a small price to pay. Throughout the rest of the year Barcelona might just be another Spanish city but on Catalonia Day, however, Barcelona comes alive, and the Catalan spirit lives on.
Essential Catalan Phrases Hello Hola, Bon dia How are you? Com estàs? Good night Bona nit Thank you Gràcies Welcome Benvingut
The perks of being a student in Spain Romy Higgins Travel writer Being a second year studying French and Spanish here at UEA, you might think that I have the perfect excuse to spend my summer sipping café crème outside a Parisian bistro, or getting embarrassingly drunk in Ibiza. However, I opted to spend three weeks of August at school. Yep, you heard. As if 24 weeks of lectures and seminars here at UEA isn’t enough, I enrolled at El Aula Azul in San Sebastián, Spain to help me achieve that elusive First. So, after booking my tickets, organising my course and promising my Mum that I wouldn’t invite any creepy Spanish men back to my room, I left for San Sebastián, or Donostia as it’s known in the local language of Basque. After a slight mishap involving an elusive bus stop and an encounter
with unintelligible Spanish airport staff, I arrived and immediately set about familiarising myself with the most important landmarks. First stop: Playa de la Zurriola. This is the second biggest of the three beaches in San Sebastián and is a favourite among surfers who come for the impressive waves that you don’t find at the city’s other two beaches, La Concha and Ondarreta. I wimped out of surfing, settling instead for a quick paddle, but there are plenty of surf schools all over the beach for the more adventurous amongst you. If you’re more interested in the views, climbing to the top of Mounts Urgull or Igueldo gives you gorgeous panoramic sights of the city, and helps you work off all the tasty food you’ll be eating (or you could take the funicular if you’re feeling lazy). For the culture vultures amongst you, San Sebastián has tons
of museums and churches to stumble across. I particularly liked El Museo San Telmo, and not just because it has free entry every Tuesday. Once night falls over the city, you discover the main attraction to this corner of Spain: pintxos. You cannot visit the Basque Country without sampling these delicacies, and with streets upon streets of pintxos bars throughout San Sebastián you have plenty of choice. Pintxos, named after the Spanish word “pincho” which means “spike”, normally consists of a piece of bread loaded with anything from seafood to egg tortilla to vegetables, which is then secured with a toothpick. You pay for these by the piece, meaning you can load up your plate or just have a couple if you’re feeling peckish. The best time to try is Thursday night, also known as “Pintxo Pote”, where one pintxo and one glass of beer or wine costs 1 euro Bargain.
As well as chilling on the beach and stuffing myself with delicious food, I did actually find some time to study. On my first day at Aula Azul I was introduced to my classmates: two Germans, an Italian and an English girl, as well as people in the other classes. Over the course of the three weeks we studied, told travel stories, explored the city and made great friends. It was really cool to be spending time with people from different parts of the world, trying to get by in Spanish and occasionally resorting to charades or Pictionary to get our point across. Back at UEA I can really appreciate how much my trip helped my Spanish, and if any of you are considering learning a language I would definitely tell you to learn in the country itself. If not for the advantages of hearing native speakers wherever you go, then for the tasty grub and the friends you’re bound to make along the way.
CoppaFeel hits UEA
Rhian Poole Lifestyle writer CoppaFeel is a breast cancer awareness charity that has taken up the challenge of encouraging young women to become more breast aware. Their mission is to hit 36 universities across the United Kingdom and educate their students about the early signs of breast cancer. Their rationale is that self-checking should become a part of students’ daily routine as, according to their mantra, “anytime is good for boob time.” CEO and founder of CoppaFeel, Kristin Hallenga, was only 22 when she developed breast cancer. It took doctors a year to diagnose Kristin with her condition, showing the prevalence of the commonly held misconception, even in the medical profession, that young women do not develop breast cancer. Whilst breast cancer may be more common in women over 50, it is also the second most frequently diagnosed cancer in women below the age of 35.
Sadly, Kristin’s cancer had spread to her spine by the time of her diagnosis and is now incurable, but she has chosen to turn her tragedy into something constructive. With a humorous spin, the breast cancer charity she has founded aims to put “Boob Squads” on campuses up and down the country, including our own at the University of East Anglia. UEA’s student boob team, fronted by third-year English Literature student Hattie Grunewald, are promoting CoppaFeel’s mission across campus. By prompting UEA students to check their breasts regularly and to acquaint themselves with both their own bodies and the signs and symptoms of breast cancer, they’re making sure that Kristen’s message is heard by all UEA students. “To keep it simple,” says Kristin, “we’re reminding students to do it in the shower. No more excuses, you’re already starkers and your boobs need some attention.” Students will also be encouraged to join up to a free SMS reminder service, which will urge them
Amy Threadfold to check their boobs on a monthly basis. It’s trouble-free and only requires you to text UEA to 70500. Kristin states that “by educating the young people of today, we can shape the future of breast cancer survival in times to come. Knowledge is power, this power will in turn save lives. I only wish
that someone shared this knowledge with me.” For more information on breast cancer or CoppaFeel at UEA and nationwide, visit the boob team on Facebook at http://www.facebook. com/UeaCoppaFeel or at http://www. coppafeel.org/page/uniboobteams.
Is sleeping with flatmates a good idea? Bex White Lifestyle writer It can happen in many ways. Your eyes could meet across the kitchen table, causing you to fall head over heels in love with them. You could simply have a few too many drinks at the LCR, when something
Callum Pawlett Howell
in your brain suddenly tells you that your flatmate is much more attractive than you’d previously realised. However it happens, is having sex with a flatmate really the best of ideas? At the beginning it seems like a great idea. You already know eachother, you only live rooms apart, staying over and making
that 9am seminar the next morning is no issue, and the prospect of the walk of shame is completely removed from your morning routine. It’s only when things go wrong that intra-flat affairs become awkward. Whether it is a full blown relationship or a one night stand, arguments or break ups are going to leave neither of you with a
pleasant living situation for a while. If it is just a one night stand, then there is always the risk of one person reading more into the relationship and becoming more hurt. If it is a relationship that ends badly, then be prepared to confront your ex every day for the next year, unless you have ninja hiding skills. It’s not just you and your partner in crime who will suffer - the other people in your flat will be forced to take sides, resulting in the dreaded flat divide. In an even worse scenario, the one night stand which you’d rather regret could become the much-loved flat joke, which you will fight to live down for the rest of the year. With a walk of shame you can at least sneak in without arousing the suspicions of your flatmates but, within the confines of a flat, it is much more difficult to avoid the prying eyes and vicious rumours of the girl in room C. If you were to meet someone in a bar and suggest that you both move in together there and then, it wouldn’t make much sense, so why would you want a relationship with someone who you already live with? With over 15,000 students at UEA, is it really necessary to get with the one that you’re going to be living with for the next academic year? It is inevitable that your relationship will slip up somewhere along the line. The odds are that there are thousands more students that are just, if not more, attractive than the guy who lives down the corridor, so why not explore outside the confines of your hall before settling down with one of your flatmates?
How to avoid blowing your loan Catherine Smith Lifestyle writer The student lifestyle is great, isn’t it? We’re young, carefree and know how to have a good time. There’s only one small catch: most of the time, we’re broke. However, with Concrete’s handy money-saving tips, you can save money and keep in the black until the end of term. 1. Invest in a bike Pride of place at the top of the list is good old-fashioned cycling! This may perhaps be a big expense to begin with, but it will pay off in the long run. Public transport is costly and, whilst it may not seem like much at the time, bus fares soon add up through the year. Who knows, you could be the next Sir Chris Hoy or Victoria Pendleton! 2. Make packed lunches Buying food on campus every day is an added expense you don’t need. Make and bring your own sandwiches; just don’t eat them in lectures! 3. Always share taxis When you’re going on a night out in the city or visiting someone else’s student digs, always share a taxi. With a little help from your friends, a £10 taxi ride can easily be taken down to £2.50. 4. Buy second-hand books There’s no excuse not to buy secondhand. Used books can be found anywhere, from Amazon to eBay, and even on
Facebook. 5. Buy supermarket’s own brands Instead of buying big brands on your weekly shop, go for Tesco’s own brand. It will taste exactly the same and cost you half the price. 6. Make a shopping list A trip to the supermarket without a list is a surefire way to load your trolley with impulse buys. Before you head to the shops, sit down and plan out what you’re going to eat for the next week. 7. Buy in bulk Bulk buying costs less than buying single products and can cut down on how many times you need to visit the supermarket in a month, helping you save both time and money. 8. Buy toiletries from Wilkinson or Savers These shops are great for saving money. You can find your favourite shampoo brands, makeup and deodorants for half the price of leading high street stores. 9. Look out for bar offers When you go out on a night out in Norwich, look around beforehand for any bar offers or deals, instead of just going where everyone else is. You might even bag yourself a free cocktail. 10. Pre-lash Drinks out in bars and clubs are expensive, so drinking before you go out with friends is a money saver. Just do it responsibly!
The ultimate lecture survival guide Lizzie Tilley Lifestyle writer The average human attention span is currently believed to be anywhere between five minutes and just eight seconds, but regardless of divergence over the exact figure one thing is agreed upon – it has decreased dramatically over the last decade. A world of social media, two minute YouTube videos and 140 character Twitter updates have indoctrinated us to expect immediacy and struggle to stay focused. Whether you’re a first year pharmacy student braving nineto-fives, or a third year humanities student making the unfathomable leap from two to three hour seminars, here are some tips to make you go the distance. Eat. Being hungry is distracting – not just that gnawing feeling inside, but also the constant worry that your stomach might interrupt the person reading and inform the whole room of how malnourished you are. Whether it is breakfast or lunch, don’t skip meals and go to your classes satisfied. If you
need a quick boost, the high potassium levels in a banana will help improve your concentration. Even better, milk chocolate has been shown to improve verbal and visual memory, whilst dark chocolate rich in flavanols - boosts blood supply to the brain and increases cognitive skills. So grab yourself a Dairy Milk; for the benefit
of your education of course. Drink. When you become dehydrated, your brain releases a hormone called cortisol which actually shrinks the branches of your brain (dendrites) which store information. So keep hydrated throughout the day and be sure to take a water bottle into your lectures.
Exercise. Staying active is key to maintaining your concentration levels. Simply skipping the bus and walking instead will increase your blood circulation, allowing more oxygen and glucose to your brain. Falling asleep in your seat? Wiggle your toes! It may sound strange but this has been shown to activate nerves which stimulate the brain and other internal organs, making you more alert. It’s also more subtle than cracking out a set of press ups in the middle of your seminar. Doodle - it might be more productive than you realise! Kinaesthetic activities, such as drawing, tapping and chewing gum, can actually help you engage better with what’s going on around you. It’s even been suggested that tracing over your doodles later on can trigger you to recall what was being said when you drew them. So dig out those smelly gel pens and get creative! Most importantly: don’t give up. Your attention span is like a muscle – work it out frequently and your endurance will improve.
Breakfast scones recipe Bex White Lifestyle writer Not only are they extremely simple to make, but these scones will keep for up to five days, making them nice and easy to grab on the way to an early morning lecture. Makes approximately 10. Ingredients • 225g of self-raising flour • 50g of margarine • 125ml of milk • 25g of caster sugar • 50g of glacé cherries For a more savoury option, remove the sugar and cherries and replace them with 50g of grated cheese.
Method 1. Sieve the flour into a large bowl and set the oven for 225C or gas mark 7. 2. Using your fingertips, rub the margarine into the flour until it looks like breadcrumbs. 3. Mix in the sugar and cherries. 4. Gradually add the milk and use a spoon to slowly mix it in, making sure it doesn’t become too sticky. 5. Knead gently and roll into a ball. Sprinkle some flour on a worktop. 6. Roll out the mixture onto the worktop top until it’s about 2cm thick, then cut to the desired size. 7. Bake for 10-15 minutes until golden brown and well risen. 8. Allow to cool before storing the scones in an airproof container.
Cheat’s casserole recipe Polly Grice Lifestyle writer This casserole is the perfect thing to warm you up. The portions here will serve two people, so it’s perfect for leftovers. Ingredients • 1 tbsp of oil • 500g of new potatoes (fresh or tinned) • 4 sausages • 1 white onion • 1 red pepper, diced • 3 tbsp of kidney beans • 340g jar of pasta sauce
Method 1. Peel (if necessary) and halve the potatoes, slice the onion and dice the pepper 2. In a large pan, fry the sausages for five minutes, before adding the potatoes, onion, kidney beans and pepper. 3. Fry everything until the sausages are brown. 4. Add the pasta sauce, rinse the jar out with a small amount of water and add it to the pan. 5. Cover the frying pan and cook for a further five minutes. 6. Serve with bread.
Mushroom risotto recipe Rhian Poole Lifestyle writer Mushroom risotto is cheap, healthy and incredibly simple to make. This can either serve up to four people or be kept in the fridge for up to five days as leftovers. If you want to add more of a tangy taste to this recipe, add a portion of butternut squash. Ingredients • 250-300g of arborio rice • 3-4 cloves of garlic • A white onion • Peas (as many or as few as you want) • A stock cube (vegetable or chicken) • 300g of mushrooms • A pinch of salt and pepper • Parmesan cheese
Method 1. In a large saucepan, cover the risotto rice with boiling water and simmer on a medium heat. 2. Add the stock cube and stir until
dissolved. 3. Peel and chop the onion and garlic and, in a separate pan, fry until they begin to soften and slightly brown. 4. If adding butternut squash, dice up half a squash and add it to the softened garlic and onion. 5. Add the peas and softened onion mix to the rice. 6. Leave to cook for around 20 to 30 minutes (longer if using butternut squash) before checking to see how much the rice has softened. You may also need to add more water, so keep an eye on this. 7. Add salt and (optional) pepper, and stir regularly to ensure that the rice does not stick to pan. 8. Add the mushrooms and cook for a further 15 minutes. Have a taste to see that the rice is plump and soft. 9. Dish up for around four people, or store the rest and leave to cool. 10. Sprinkle with grated parmesan cheese and voila!
Canary Corner by Dan Suen
Editors’ column Sam Tomkinson Sports editor Once again in football the racism issue has reared its ugly head. The scenes in Serbia were distressing for all and once again emphasises the need for action over the issue. FIFA need to take a very strong stance on this by taking such action that will really affect the Serbian national team. There is no point in a small fine because that is not as effective as point deductions or even to the extent that they are banned from the World Cup qualifiers. Closer to home players such as Jason Roberts and Rio Ferdinand have made statements over the FA’s handling of racism issues. By not wearing the “Kick It Out” campaign t-shirt they have not done much to help the cause. Their actions suggest that the work that is being done is not significant and so there is no point backing the campaign. This is a disjointed view which deserves the response that Sir Alex Ferguson has given to Ferdinand, who will be dealt with. If there is a campaign to stop racism then, no matter whether it is ineffective or not, should be supported. The Premier League is by no means perfect but it is much better on the issue than other leagues. In tennis the battle for Britain’s number one female continues as Heather Watson won her first WTA tour title. Both Laura Robson and Watson have progressed immensely and look at ease with their games, knowing their strengths and weaknesses Robson should take a leaf out of Andy Murray’s book and go through the rigorous off season agility training that Murray went through in order to turn him from an also ran to one of the top players in the world. The opposite can be said about Watson’s game. Her movement around the court can never be questioned, however she does not possess the same attacking weapons that Robson does. If she can add more power to her serve and groundstrokes there is no reason why she cannot break the top 20 at the very least.
Norwich City have played just once after losing 4-1 to Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. Grant Holt put City ahead after just 11 minutes, firing in a shot from just inside the box. However, the goal only awoke a sleeping giant as Chelsea maintained their strong start to the season, netting four times. Goals from Torres, Lampard, Hazard and Ivanovic gave Chelsea the three points. Hughton reiterated his concern about City’s defence, admitting to BBC Radio Norfolk that “to concede nine goals in two game is a worry.” Losing to a Chelsea side who hold a seven-point lead at the top of the table is no disgrace, and Hughton would have been pleased with his first victory in the league against Arsenal, as it lifts Norwich out of the relegation spaces. The Canaries took a vital win on Saturday at home to the Gunners thaknks to a goal in the first half from Grant Holt, who is beginning to fins his form again. The only action at Carrow Road since City’s defeat to Liverpool was an England Under-21s match. Thankfully the game, which drew an impressive attendance of 17,266, witnessed no scenes of a similar
nature to those in Serbia, where racism once again took centre-stage. Ryan Bennett was City’s only player in the 18man squad. Elsewhere, Simeon Jackson (Canada) and Steve Morison (Wales) represented their respective countries, while John Ruddy (England) and Russell Martin (Scotland) were unused substitutes. In other news, the protracted saga of ill-feeling between the Canaries and Paul Lambert refuses to go away, as both parties have now sued each other following comments made by Norwich chairman Alan Bowkett. Lambert claims that City breached his contract by refusing him permission to speak with Aston Villa, forcing him to resign. Lambert and Villa argue this made the Scot a free agent, therefore ceasing the requirement for any sort of compensation package for City. Lambert is reportedly seeking between £1.5m and £2m for the alleged breach. The focus for City, however, remains on the pitch and they will look to move on upwards from their victory against Arsenal and will be optimistic of gaining valuable points against Aston Villa and Stoke City.
Northern Ireland pull off shock draw Arjun Sidhu Sports correspondent The Home Nations did not have a particularly successful week in World Cup qaulifiers; Scotland and Wales both suffered a 2-0 defeat at the hands of Belgium and Croatia respectively. England and Northern Ireland both managed to achieve a 1-1 away draw against Poland and Portugal, but really it was the Northern Irish that deserved to come away from their fixture with a draw. England’s hopeless performance on Wednesday after the match was postponed when the pitch was waterlogged on Tuesday night was more reminiscent of their abject performance against Italy in the European Championships rather than their display against San Marino the previous Friday. The ball was treated as if it was contaminated with the Black Plague and Wayne Rooney, for all of his acclaimed brilliance, was unable to get up to speed against the Polish, despite netting from Steven Gerrard’s 31st minute corner. Arguably this spurred the Poles on further and although the English defence played well, restricting the Poles to few chances, centre back Kamil Glik was able to head the ball in to an empty net due to poor misjudgement from Joe Hart. Poland deserved their point, and England
now realise that qualification for the 2014 World Cup will be a real battle. Northern Ireland’s draw can only be described as a “smash and grab”, as they were put under massive amounts of pressure after Nial McGinn scored on the half hour mark. They defended resolutely, until they allowed Hélder Postiga to equalise in an untidy manner. Scotland and Wales suffered in their games. Gareth Bale almost scored a brilliant solo goal for Wales only to be foiled by the Croatian goalkeeper. Craig Levein’s Scotland are extremely unlikely to qualify for the World Cup and Levein would have been irked at the lack of fight shown by his players.
Sport Men’s Football take superb early win UEA FC earned victory in their first BUCS game of the season following an impressive first half display. UEA dominated the first half and had a commanding 3-0 lead at half time. However, despite netting twice in the second half, UEA allowed Derby back into the game to score twice. UEA opened the scoring early in the first half, breaking swiftly from a Derby corner, left winger Nacer Rerizani easily beat Derby’s right back and squared for striker Luke Blackwell to score. UEA continued brightly and came close to doubling their lead after a crunching foul on UEA’s left back. From the resultant free kick, Taylor Hasting’s curving effort shaved the outside of the Derby woodwork. It was soon two, as Rerizani proved too fast for the struggling Derby right back. Rezirani’s well placed cross was fumbled by the Keeper allowing Simon Beeson to double the home side’s lead. Derby were looking disorganised at the back as UEA took further advantage from a corner to extend their lead. With Derby unable to clear their lines, Hasting swooped in to give UEA a deserved 3-0 lead at half time. At the start of the second period, UEA again looked adventurous, keeping possession well and testing a flagging Derby side. It wasn’t before long that Derby were once again exposed. A long ball over the top allowed Blackwell to delightfully chip the ball over an advancing Derby keeper. However, despite UEA’s dominance, a rare Derby attack saw the away side grab a goal back. Following a strong and determined run in to the box, Derby’s right winger squared the ball allowing their target man to finish neatly in the bottom corner. This seemed to revitalize Derby, who scored again quickly. Picking up the ball on the edge of the area, Derby’s left back cut inside before curling the ball in to the far corner. Suddenly UEA found themselves in a contest, with Derby creating more clear cut chances. Another Derby attack saw the referee give a dubious penalty for a push in the back on the away side’s winger. However, UEA ‘keeper Charlie Savage pulled off a fine save down to his left from the spot kick. Savage’s save prompted a resurgence, Blackwell who lead the line brilliantly all game was again sent through over the top. His composed finish across the Derby keeper essentially put the game to bed at 5-2 to UEA. However, this didn’t stop the game from ending on a sour note. Following an unnecessary yellow card for UEA, the Derby right back would be sent off for a petulant kick off the ball. Tom Ritchie
Netball outfox Leicester in Sportspark clash Sports editor Billy Sexton reports on Netball II’s first victory of the new season in Bucs Netball II completed a comprehensive 35–23 victory over Leicester II in their first league game of the new season. Although preseason has been plagued by illness, the home side were brimming with optimism after gaining promotion last season, couple this with a fresh influx of new talent and it’s no surprise that the match ended with UEA victorious. Victory actually never looked to be in doubt as the hosts developed an early lead due to impeccable shooting from both Alex Makin and Rachel Sloper. Leicester had little chances in front of goal due to stern defending from Becca Newby and Georgia Janes. Bianca Ho was agile in Wing Attack, with Charlie Finlow dominating the centre of court with incredible movement, vision and passing as UEA finished the first quarter leading 10 – 7. Leicester should have capitalised on their chances more as the second quarter proved to be an epitome for the entire match. Newby, Janes and Ella Crook formed a solid defensive base as the rest of the team moved up the court
with brilliant fluidity. Deyonte Abbott Lewis was deadly in front of goal as well as working well with Makin to provide UEA with a formidable attacking force. The second quarter ended on a somewhat negative note for the home team though, as Janes sustained a painful injury to the knee, with early indications of a strain. Not to be disheartened by the injury to their team mate, UEA pressed on and extended their lead in the third quarter after making the most of some questionable defending from Leicester. Abbott Lewis continued to perform well as the Leicester ladies began to appear tired and lethargic. This was particularly telling in the fourth quarter as UEA delivered a series of final blows by continuing with their fluid passing and rapid movement around the court. Netball II will be impressed with their inaugural showing this season. They were undoubtedly far superior to Leicester and will be optimistic that they can continue their winning run on October 31 when they face Birmingham III in the Bucs Midlands Conference Cup.
Women’s Rugby outplayed by Bedford Chris Teale Managing editor
Women’s rugby suffered their first defeat of the season as they went down 56-10 to Bedford I at Colney Lane on Wednesday 17th. The team had opened their Midlands Division 1A campaign with a win, but fell behind to an early try in the third minute, then conceded another five minutes later to go behind 12-0. Bedford looked very strong in the scrum, in the 12th minute saw their number eight break away and score an individual try to extend their lead to 19-0. UEA then started to gain some momentum of their own and were close to scoring at one stage, but could not apply a finish. The away side then scored another two tries in quick succession and in the 25th minute, were up 31-0. UEA had a player sin-binned for persistent high tackling, and struggled to maintain possession in the face of intense pressure. Bedford managed to rack up two more tries before half-time, but despite this the home side managed to step up their defensive effort, and could have had a try of their own. However, the halftime whistle sounded with Bedford up 41-0 and looking well on course for the
victory. UEA began the second half positively, and after some early pressure scored a try of their own. Bedford conceded a penalty deep in their own half, and captain Nina Crowther was on hand to pick up a pass and take the ball in for a try, reducing the deficit slightly to 41-5. Unfortunately, this seemed to revitalise the away side, who picked up their efforts once again to score two tries in the space of 10 minutes and re-establish their big advantage. For the remaining 20 minutes of the half, neither side was able to assert any real dominance, with the game interrupted by a number of injuries on either side. However, in the 72nd minute Bedford’s captain was sin-binned for unnecessary dissent towards the referee, but her team seemed unperturbed as they scored their final try of the afternoon. Then, with the game entering its final stages, the home side scored their second try of the afternoon through Crowther once again. With that the full-time whistle went, with the final score 56-10 to Bedford. UEA can still take heart from their performance against a very strong side and will be hopeful of recovering immediately in their next game at home to Warwick next week as their Bucs campaign continues.
Whye Tchien Khor
Concrete Sport UEA
issue 273 23 october 2012
Netball II report
Whye Tchien Khor
Men’s Table Tennis demolish Oxford Matt Hubbard Sports correspondent UEA’s Men’s Table Tennis I took on Oxford I in the Sportspark on Wednesday in their first match of the new season. Taking part for the UEA were Johnny Bispham, Matt Haynes, Kit Lo and Mikael Papantoniou. The home team dominated throughout the contest, winning the match 16-1 and taking a fully deserved victory. Oxford were at an immediate disadvantage after failing to bring a full team of four players, meaning they were 4-0 down before the contest had even begun. Nevertheless, this had no real impact on the outcome of the match as Oxford suffered a comprehensive defeat to a strong UEA team. The captain led from the front and bagged three wins to get the home side on its way to victory. Lo was also dominant in all three of his games, winning them 3-1, 3-0 and 3-1. He never looked threatened by anything that Oxford threw at him, and seemed confident in every shot that he played. Despite his incredible results, Haynes managed to slightly better them by winning 3-0, 3-1 and 3-0. Last but not least, Papantoniou also had a brilliant afternoon’s play, being victorious in two of his meetings but unfortunately losing in one. Arguably, it was Papantoniou who produced the most enthralling game when he came from 2-1 down to beat his opponent 3-2 in a great comeback. In the final game, Bispham
and Lo teamed up to win 3-0 in the doubles and secure an emphatic victory. After the match, UEA’s captain Johnny Bispham spoke positively of his team’s display. He said: “We’ve never lost at home and home matches are a must win, so it’s important to get that first one”. All the players stood out as having excelled and Johnny was pleased with his own performance. He added: “Every time you get four wins you know that you’ve had a quality match.” He agreed that it would be impossible to choose a man of the match amongst his team as they all performed exceptionally well. The result sees UEA kick-start their campaign with a fantastic win, which will no doubt give them the confidence to push on for more victories. Men’s Table Tennis face a tough away fixture tomorrow against Warwick II, who will be hoping to bounce back from defeat against Loughborough I’s. Competing in Bucs Midlands Division 1A, the team are optimistic of going a step further than last year and topping the table. Last year they only lost one game, against Nottingham Trent I. They will also compete in the Bucs Trophy, having already received a bye to the last 16. The team will be confident of their chances this time around though and the result against Oxford is a fantastic way to start the season. The club will certainly be recording more victories of this magnitude in the 2012-13 season.
Other Bucs home results October 17:
Whye Tchien Khor
Page 23 Women’s Rugby
Men’s Badminton 5-3 Aston I Women’s Badminton 7-1 Oxford Brookes I Men’s Football II 2-0 Nottingham IV Golf 6-0 Oxford Brookes I Men’s Lacrosse 33-0 Warwick II
Page 23 Canary Corner
Men’s Hockey I awarded a walkover against Harper Adams I.
Published on Oct 22, 2012