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Shamed lecturer sent down for ‘bizzare’ graffiti A University professor has been sentenced for “bizarre” crimes of vandalism in Jesmond Dene. Appearing before a judge last Friday, Professor Stephen Graham, who is a senior lecturer in Newcastle University’s school of Architecture, has been given an order of compensation and a nine month prison stretch suspended for one year. The sentence followed a spree of “polite” graffiti scrawled onto the sides of cars on Northumberland Gardens and other nearby streets last August. This act of vandalism, which was repeatedly described by the judge as “bizarre”, entailed the defacing of 27 vehicles belonging to local residents, causing a confirmed £28,586 worth of damage. Words such as “arbitrary”, “very silly” and “really wrong” were scratched by a screwdriver onto the sides of parked vehicles. Professor Graham had been under the influence of three quarters of a bottle of

gin on the night of Monday 27 August 2012, whilst also taking antibiotics and other medication. The lecturer is said to have left his house at around 11pm on the evening of the 26 August wearing a suit jacket, sleep mask and no trousers, and was subsequently seen on camera wandering for two hours before initiating the act of vandalism two hours later. Professor Graham, who was described by his barrister as a “much respected and sought after” academic, will pay up to £9,972 worth of compensation. The story caught national attention from the press back in August, when the event was covered by the Daily Mail and the BBC. The court was told by the judge: “[This] is not a man who has set about to cause damage, but instead a man who was probably not with himself.” The defendant was told by the judge: “You were a vandal that night, albeit a vandal who was suffering quite a serious condition. You will be deprived of your livelihood’s savings as a result. I hope you are not deprived of your livelihood as well.”

subjects including DNA sequencing, trigonometry and avionics. “In nine months a child left alone with a computer would reach the same standard as an office professional in the West,” he said in his TED acceptance speech. “By 2009, thanks to advances in technology, it was possible to ‘beam’ teachers to places where they could not, or did not want, to go, and so I created a ‘granny cloud’ of retired school teachers who would encourage children to learn by themselves. “By 2012, teachers around the world were using SOLEs – self-organised

learning environments – where children would group around internet connections to discuss Big Questions. The teacher would merge into the background, and watch as the learning happened.” His experiment has prompted imitations all over the world, and helped inspire the book Q&A by Vikas Swarup, which in turn inspired the Oscar-winning film Slumdog Millionaire. Professor Mitra won the TED Prize for submitting a “wish” that the TED network help him build an online “School in the Cloud” in India, “where children continued on page 4

By Susie Beever News Editor

Fresh Meat on the breakfast menu

News p.5

‘Slumdog’ lecturer wins coveted TED prize By Anna Templeton News Editor Professor Sugata Mitra, a Professor of Educational Technology at the School of Education, Communication and Language Sciences has won a million dollar prize. Professor Mitra accepted the prize last week for his work in transforming education in the developing world, and for his part in inspiring the film Slumdog Millionaire. The organisers of the Technology, Entertainment and Design conference hand out the annual TED Prize to an

individual with a “creative and bold vision to spark global change.” The TED Prize supports “one wish to inspire the world.” The TED Prize is awarded by the California-based non-profit ideas network TED. Previous winners have included Bill Clinton, Jamie Oliver and Bono. Mitra’s work took part in the slums of India where he proved that any child, irrespective of their social situation, has the ability to be computer literate. The expert in education believes the Internet allows children even from the poorest parts of the world to develop

intellectually if they are encouraged to work with each other. The professor installed a computer in a slum in Kalkaji, Delhi, in 1999. His work became to be known as a ‘holein-the-wall’ experiment, which led to a fundamental reassessment of the position of formal education. Hidden monitoring showed the benefits of what Mitra nicknamed ‘Minimally Invasive Education.’ Left to their own devices, children can seamlessly learn to use computers and the Internet. He also found that children working in groups were able to tackle complex





Stars of the hit comedy serve up breakfast at Castle Leazes

DRAGON’S DEN James Caan works with student to promote enterprise

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Monday 4 March 2013

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News Editors: George Sandeman, Susie Beever and Anna Templeton Online News Editor: Aine Stott | @TheCourier_News

Discover Islam Week hits campus


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AGEIST ISSUES Are you ever too old to go to be an Undergraduate?

MARX MY WORDS Jake explains why he’d rather be fat than intolerant



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NUSU’s Sabbatical Officers get involved in the hijab challenge Image: Islamic Society

TEAM OWNERS Owners of sports teams analysed

WINNING TEAM Newcastle Uni Boat Club gets golds

By Nathalie O’Donovan How much would you say you really know about Islam? Are your views shaped by what you hear in the news or have you really done your homework? If like most people, your perceptions are mostly negative and based on prejudices, or even if you admit to not actually knowing much, then Discover Islam Week was the perfect opportunity to correct this. The annual initiative run by Newcastle University’s Islamic Society was aimed at breaking down barriers and getting people talking and exploring what Islam really is. Ahmed Gatnash from the society explains: “We want to promote campus harmony and inter-religious understanding and dialogue between students”. Religion has unfortunately been subject to a lot of criticism in recent times, but there is a lot more to Islam than

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meets the eye, with lots of misconceptions about Islam and its culture. As Ahmed explained, Discover Islam Week tries to “dispel stereotypes that are so common about Muslims in the media these days, as they are really harmful to society as well as being plain wrong”. One of the most interesting features of the event was “The Hijab Challenge” on “We want to promote campus Wednesday 27 February. harmony and Students inter-religious un- were chalderstanding and lenged to wear dialogue between a headscarf for a whole day: students.” to lectures, on the bus and even to coffee with friends. This was a way for students to experience what it feels like to be a woman in the Islamic community. Bilkis Akhter, a member of the society herself explained that “many people don’t know what it’s like to wear a headscarf, or understand

why we wear it, so this challenge will allow them to find out what it feels like!” Laura Perry, Rachel Thornton and Esta Innes (President of the Students’ Union, Education Officer, and Welfare and Equality Officer) took part in the Hijab Challenge on Wednesday. Rachel said: ‘It gave an insight into another culture and gave us the opportunity to experience how others perceive a Muslim woman in a hijab. “It was good to not have to worry about how I looked. People are more likely to judge us a person than whether we have nice hair or if our make-up is perfect.” The three Sabbatical Officers wore hijabs throughout the day, attended three University meetings and a meeting with Northumbria police. Laura Perry said: “It’s been a really interesting day experiencing something from a different perspective”. Esta added: “At the beginning of the day I did feel a little self-conscious and I noticed some people did take a second

Editor Ben Travis Online Editor Ben Brown News Editors George Sandeman, Susie Beever and Anna Templeton Online News Editor Aine Stott Comment Editors Georgie Moule and Laura Wotton Online Comment Editor Jennifer Evans Features Editor Tom Nicholson Listings Editor Sally Priddle Lifestyle Editors Catherine Davison and Ellie Cropper Online Lifestyle Editors Rosie Devonshire and Colette Hunter Fashion Editors Elissa Hudson and Lizzie Hampson Online Fashion Editor Sally Greenwood Beauty Editor Amy Macauley Arts Editors Lisa Bernhardt and Millie Walton Online Arts Editor Grace Harvey Film Editors Hayley Hamilton and Sam Hopkins Online Film Editor Chris Binding TV Editor Chris Taylor Online TV Editor Ben Parkin Music Editors Chris Haywood and Sam Summers Online Music Editor Sophie Coletta Science Editor James Simpson Puzzle Editors Sally Priddle and Tom Nicholson Sports Editors Ralph Blackburn, Nick Gabriel and Lucy Williams Online Sports Editors Freddie Caldwell and Jack Gelsthorpe Copy Editors Rachel Horrocks, Charley Monteith, Leanne Penning, Chris Smith, Matty Aston, Sabine Kutcher

glance or look at me a bit differently. “However, by the end of the day I felt really comfortable and if people were looking at me I didn’t notice as I wasn’t bothered about how I look and that’s quite a liberating feeling.” Wednesday evening was also ‘Ladies night’. The event, aimed at discovering the culture of Islamic women, allowed students to meet the “sisters” and hear why they chose to practise the hijab, as well as watch a fashion show depicting Islamic fashion for women. Discover Islam Week offered something for everyone, whether you wanted to ask burning questions you’ve always had, have a deep theological discussion with one of the event’s organizers, or sit down for a delicious samosa! Throughout the week, members of the society gave short talks, Q&A sessions and offered refreshments and food. The Islamic Society is hoping to encourage as many students as possible to find out more and discover what it Islam really is.

The Courier is printed by: Print and Digital Associates, Fernleigh House, 10 Uttoxeter Road, Derby, Derbyshire, United Kingdom, DE3 0DA. Established in 1948, The Courier is the fully independent student newspaper of the Students’ Union at Newcastle University. The Courier is published weekly during term time, and is free of charge. The design, text, photographs and graphics are copyright of The Courier and its individual contributors. No parts of this newspaper may be reproduced without the prior permission of the Editor. Any views expressed in this newspaper’s opinion pieces are those of the individual writing, and not of The Courier, the Students’ Union or Newcastle University.

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Monday 4 March 2013

Record turnout in elections sees multiple races go down to wire By Aine Stott Online News Editor Voter turnout reached 20% as Newcastle students say hello to their new student representatives. After four days, 48 candidates and over 4,000 votes, Newcastle University Students’ Union welcomes its team of Sabbatical and Part-Time Officers for 2013/14. The results were revealed in the afternoon of Friday 1 March, following a week which saw a groundbreaking 20% The increased engagement with of the student population voting season participate in was perhaps the elections. influenced by the The increased rise in election en- e n g a g e m e n t voting thusiasm across with season campus: this year perhaps inflwas usaw campaigns enced by the producing more rise in election slapstick slogans, e n t h u s i a s m camentertaining ad- across pus: this year vertisements and saw campaigns witty videos than p r o d u c i n g more slapstick ever before slogans, entertaining advertisements and witty videos than ever before. The History Room of the Students’ Union played host to all campaigners yesterday afternoon, where the results were scheduled to be disclosed at 5pm. First to be announced were the unop-

posed candidates. This saw: Yinghan (Joanna) Zhao becoming the new Gender Equality Officer, Stephanie Newport-Booth voted in for the first time as TCTV Station Manager, Mollie Henaghan and Joseph Mulcahy becoming the new Students With Disabilities Officers, Sabine Kucher becoming Scrutiny Officer, Emily Horswill becoming new Officer without Portfolio with Bridget Hamilton and Peff Soulsby take up NSR Station Manager. Christos Mexias will be continuing his role as LGBT officer for another year whilst Sophia Doan was voted in for a second term as International Officer. Catherine Bundy will become the new Ethics and Environment Officer, with Richard Parry taking the role of Campaigns Officer. Then the contested positions were announced. The duel for position of Chair of Student Council saw 507 votes cast, with only 2 votes separating the two candidates, Jason Watson and Peter Style. Jason received 240 votes to Peter’s 238, making him the winner of the election. He told The Courier after the results: “I was completely lost for words when I first found out. “I can’t say thanks enough to everyone who voted for me. I’m really looking forward to chairing Student Council next year”. The second of the two contended part-time officer positions saw Ellie and Elinor take on Will and Iwona for the position of RAG (raising and giving) Officers. Despite effective campaigning from


The six new sabbatical officers pose for their first photo together along with some of the part-time officer team Image: NUSU

both teams, 176 votes separated the two, ultimately taking Ellie and Elinor to victory. Ellie told The Courier on behalf of the pair: “We were so unbelievably chuffed to win and want to say a massive thank you to everyone who voted and our brilliant campaigners! “After seeing Will and Iws manifesto and all their hard campaigning we really had no idea which way it was going to go. “We’ve had smiles on our face since we found out and its definitely safe to say we can‘t wait to celebrate! Now we can’t wait to get going with everything for next year!” The next position to be declared was the new Activities Officer to replace Jasmine Walker.

and I can’t thank them enough.” She added: “I can’t wait to start and get to know the team!” The next result on the agenda was that of Laura Mason’s replacement as Athletic Union Officer, in which three candidates induced a record 1,803 votes between them. ‘RON’ was the first one to fall with his 32 votes being allocated between Katie, Ben and Richard. In third place, Richard was the next to go, with 211 votes. Despite a closing gap between the remaining two, it would be Katie Rimmer who would emerge victorious, with 999 votes to Ben Lamden’s 620. She told The Courier: “I don’t think it’s sunk in properly yet and I’m just abso-

Over 1,700 votes for the Education Officer couldn’t stop one of the closest contests in Elections history, as the final two candidates were only be separated by five votes The first preferences saw a gap of 478 between the candidates with the most and least votes; ‘RON’ (25 votes) and Emilia Nunn St-John (89) were the first to be redistributed. Emelia was subsequently followed by Lauren Brenta (134), Alice Sharman (182), Ben Parkin (301), and James Jordan (340), to leave a two-way battle between Melissa Whipp and Rosie Leatherland. However, Melissa’s commendable 413 votes could not compete with Rosie Leatherland’s 750, making Rosie the new Activities Officer. An ecstatic Rosie told The Courier: “I am absolutely overwhelmed to have won - it took a long time to sink in and it was such a relief after weeks of hard work. “I couldn’t have done it without my amazing friends who helped me from start to finish and everyone who voted

lutely over the moon, it’s made a very, very stressful few weeks worth every single second. “I can’t believe the support I’ve had through it all though and I am so grateful for every one who took the time to vote for me. I’m really looking forward to starting now”. The name of the man to be crowned Editor of The Courier for 2013/14 was the next result to be announced. The race was close, between four very talented and hardworking candidates. Once ‘RON’ had been eliminated from the running, his 30 votes were unable to save Freddie Caldwell, and his 195 votes, from a second round removal. Next to be redistributed was Ralph Blackburn, with 345 votes. Despite a close call at the end between Tom Nicholson and George Sandeman, George’s 544 votes to Tom’s 504 led him to victory as Editor of The Courier.

Over 1,700 votes for the Education Officer couldn’t stop one of the closest contests in Elections history, as the final two candidates were only be separated by five votes. ‘RON’ was the first one to fall, followed closely by Katherine, Luke, Emma, Catherine and Ruonan. This left the current Chair of Council, Charles Barry, facing Eve Berwin to assume the title of education officer. After an agonising wait it was Eve who was declared as the Education Officer to succeed Rachael Thornton, with 508 votes to Charles’ 503. The penultimate position to be announced, Welfare and Equality Officer, saw Ella Thorp eliminated first with 201 votes. Emmeline Tandoc and Heather Ratcliffe would be the next to follow, leaving a contest between Emily Waller and Naomi Brown. In the end 132 votes would separate the two, with Emily Waller being chosen to represent as the next Welfare and Equality Officer. After Laura Perry had successfully navigated two presidential campaigns, it was time to see a successor declared as Newcastle University Students’ Union 2013/14 President. Eight candidates had competed for the position, a huge increase on last year’s two competitors. This pushed the voter turnout for this position to over 2,000. The competition was fierce and the results were as follows: Andrew Todd was the first of the candidates to be redistributed with 105 votes, closely followed by Paul Frew with 185. Dave Bendall followed with 266 votes, Chris Pugh with 342, Nikki Doherty with 380, and Tim Little with 506. This left Ronnie Kitely and Calum Mackenzie in the running for the coveted position. With 785 votes to Ronnie’s 738, Calum emerged victorious as next year’s Students’ Union President.

Monday 4 March 2013

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Study says minority students less willing to ask for help By Louise Naylor A UK academic has found that black and other minority ethnic (BME) university students find it more difficult to approach their lecturers for help, which could be contributing to their lower grades in comparison to their white counterparts. Dr Jacqueline Stevenson’s study conducted with Russell Group University students of different ethnic backgrounds

First in 2010-11, compared to 51.1% of students identifying themselves as black and minority ethnic, and only 40.3% of black students. The reluctance to ask for help was addressed by Aaron Kiely, the current National Union of Students (NUS) Black Students Officer who said: “Black students can often feel marginalised, and that contributions are not held with equal regard to those of peers. At times some academic staff can be highly insensitive to culture, religion and lan-

Black and minority ethnic (BME) university students find it more difficult to approach their lecturers for help, which could be contributing to their lower grades reported that being of an ethnic minority is statistically significant, and has a negative effect on degree attainment. Dr Stevenson’s report asserts that this academic change happens during University, as between high-school and degree other contributing factors, such as prior academic attainment and deprivation are strictly controlled to limit any bias. Dr Stevenson’s findings are similar to those found in November 2012 with statistics from the Equality Challenge Unit. The statistics reveal that 69.5% of the UK’s white students achieved a 2.1 or

guage. Speaking to The Courier, Obreniokibo Amiesinmaka, the Racial Equality Officer, discussed whether this is a problem at Newcastle University. Amiesinmaka emphasized that the University is very welcoming to all students and in his tenure has had no racial complaints. He also said that the University actively promotes diversity and equality, demonstrated by Diversity Season currently happening, as well as Diversity Day on Monday 4 March. Regarding the problem, Amiesimaka said: “Assistance should be offered to

everyone equally based on their grades. That is to say, to all struggling students, so as not to misconstrue the effort as being racial profiling.” Amiesimaka also believes in “Black stuthe sentiments dents can often expressed by feel marginal- Aaron Kiely, who ised and that would like to see represencontributions greater tation of Africanaren’t held with Caribbean lecturequal regard to er and professors, those of peers” instead of in the lower ranks of the staff structure. Amiesimaka asserts that there should be a conscious effort by the University to promote BEM professors as it will portray a representative view of real society. While Dr Stevenson’s study focuses on race, Amiesinmaka feels that this misrepresents a problem that could affect any and all students, for example international students, where English is not their first language, making them feel unable to express themselves. There are also certain cultures which discourage questioning someone in authority. To tackle this issue, Amiesinmaka encourages students to make full use of the University services and talk to lecturers after class or in their office hours, who in his experience are very willing to help.

AFRAID TO ASK A study suggests that minority students are less likely to go to lecturers for help Images: NUSU Archive

“If this works, we will have an alternative system that will level the playing field” continued from page 1 can embark on intellectual adventures by engaging and connecting with information and mentoring online”. “My ‘wish that can inspire the world’ will enable me to further this work by involving partners across the TED network which extends across the globe. “If this works, we will have an alternative system that will level the playing field,” he said. Professor Mitra said that he would use the money to “build a school in the Cloud.” His initial project led Professor Mitra to set up the Granny Cloud, which uses volunteers (usually retired people) in the UK to teach Indian children via Skype. He has also gone on to experiment with the concept of self-learning, offering software to children living in remote areas of India so they can teach themselves. When accepting his prize, Professor Mitra said: “In an ideal world, we would have great schools with great teachers absolutely everywhere. “Yet the reality is that there will always be places where good teachers cannot or will not go. “If we are going to level the education playing field around the world, we need an alternative system that also prepares children to enter a technology driven workplace.” He said that the answer to these issues was an Internet-based school that widens access to the under-resourced. “Help me build the school in the cloud, a learning lab in India where children can embark on intellectual adventures by engaging and connecting with infor-

mation and mentoring online,” he said. His plans involve a network of retired teachers offering tuition via webcams. As well as the Internet plans, a real school will be built in India offering children a place to receive the as well His initial pro- lessons, as serving as a ject set up the research centre Granny Cloud into self-directed learning. which used Professor Chris volunteers Vice Chan(usually retired Brink, cellor of the Unipeople) in the versity said: “This UK to teach is a tremendous Indian children honour for Sugata. via Skype “He has dedicated over 20 years of his research career to improving the lives and opportunities of some of the world’s poorest people through his innovations in computing.” “The experiment has since been repeated at many places and has left a mark on popular culture. “Indian diplomat Vikas Swarup read about Sugata’s experiment and was inspired to write his debut novel that went on to become the Oscar-winning film Slumdog Millionaire. “Newcastle University has a strong track in the field of education research and this TED Prize will enable us to further that with the support of a global community.” The Sundance Institute has been awarded $125,000 to fund a short documentary about Professor Mitra and his School in the Cloud vision.

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Monday 4 March 2013

Comedy cast cater for freshers in aid of Comic Relief By Laura Wotton Friday morning last week saw the arrival of the Channel 4’s Fresh Meat cast in Newcastle. The visit was part of a series of sketches filmed at the UK’s top Universities with the purpose of raising money and awareness for Comic Relief. Set up by Newcastle’s RAG committee, the stars served breakfast to excited Castle Leazes students alongside the full

the fruit”. Laura Dilnot of the Comic Relief Media Team reiterated their motto ‘Funny for Money’, yet was also careful to remind students that: “It’s not necessarily about how much money is made, but rather to inspire the student population by raising awareness of the charity”. Laura proceeded to detail the rest of the day’s activities including a tricycle race in Durham, a series of lectures at Leeds and “the potential for rap battles and DJ sets”.

Set up by Newcastle’s RAG committee, the stars served breakfast to excited Castle Leazes students alongside the full time catering staff to encourage donations to add to the Red Nose Day collections

DONATE NOW Zawe Ashton, who plays the imperious Vod in Fresh Meat, dons the famous red nose during breakfast at Leazes Image: Laura Wotton

time catering staff to encourage donations to add to the Red Nose Day collections. Above the bustle of service, Zawe Ashton, who plays the character Vod, could be heard promoting extra hash browns in return for donations and Jack Whitehall, playing JP, munched on sausages whilst serving star-struck students. Greg McHugh, the show’s Howard, was particularly energetic considering the time of morning, comically shouting: “What do you want! Get on with your day!’” to a dressing gown-clad boy and advising students to “stop ignoring

Laura voiced her mock concern that Jack had threatened to take off his trousers in the heat, and minutes later her predictions were proved correct as Jack served sausages to queuing students in his boxers. Speaking to The Courier, Kimberley Nixon, who plays dentistry student Josie, said: “The Fresh Meat challenge was a very different kind of challenge” and lamented that “although it was really fun, it was also very cruel as none of us had had breakfast and we were starving!” Surprisingly Jack Whitehall was already familiar with this particular halls

of residence and revealed that, “Last time I was here I was doing a gig.” Head of Hospitality and Commercial service, Kay Jones, thanked manager Gaurav Kaushick, supervisor Alex Jack Whitehall Mitchell and chef Craig Pendlingwas already ton for managing familiar with morning and these particular the explained the “lohalls revealing: gistical challenge” of having an extra “Last time I was here I was volume of people to cater for with doing a gig” the arrival of students from both Richardson Road and Marris House. A larger cooked breakfast was laid on especially to encourage as many students as possible to attend the fundraising event. Other fundraising initiatives included a raffle organized by RAG that promised a free breakfast with the cast. Raffle winners Natasha and Dom of Richardson Road, said: “It was amazing to actually talk to them in the flesh beyond what you see on screen” and described themselves as “speechless” upon their introduction with the stars. Newcastle was the first visit of their day trip aboard the ‘banter bus’ with Durham as the next port of call. All proceeds collected by RAG during their fleeting visit will go towards Comic Relief in the build up to Red Nose Day on Friday 15 March.

Locusts watch Star Wars to help collision study By James Simpson Newcastle University’s own Dr Claire Rind recently published a paper in the International Journal of Advanced Mechatronic systems. The paper entitled ‘Visually stimulated motor control for a robot with a pair

Taking what they learnt from previous research they applied this to form new ideas about the way the biological technology could be used. They decided to look more at the optic pathways and inputs and then Dr Rind designed a computer programme to study these. This then assisted in building an artifi-

Research involved sitting locusts in front of a camera watching the scene where Luke Skywalker is flying through the small tunnels of the Death Star as well as showing them scenes of Darth Vader of LGMD visual neural networks’ has expanded on research which Dr Rind has performed over the last 25 years of her career. The previous research involved sitting locusts in front of a camera watching the final scene from Star Wars, in which Luke Skywalker is flying through the small tunnels of the Death Star, as well as showing them scenes of Darth Vader. Dr Rind then “looked at the large neurons which fired up when the locust thought it was on a collision course” and used the data they collected to look at how we the system could be transferred for human use. When looking at collision avoidance systems with cars Dr Rind found that “could be applied to cars but technology has to be simplified” which in turn takes away the functionality of this.

cial sensor, which they then applied to a small robot (pictured). The eye was a hemispherical mirror that relayed video images from light input to the researchers. The input was When looking then converted to at collision images and paintavoidance ed a picture for systems, Dr the robot so it was Rind found that able to see what was in front of it. it “could be The sensors applied to cars used put in conbut technoltrol the sensors ogy has to be in a ‘graded way’ enabling images. simplified” The systems mimicked those seen in a locust, even down to how the robot processed the


The insects are being used by researchers to develop anticollision technology Image: Simon Fraser

information much like a locusts brain by recording from two halves of the eye (left side and right side). The researchers placed different objects in front of the robot, including Lego bricks and even placing a hand in front. The system coped well with all the systems and managed to avoid collisions. The collaborations with researchers in China and Hamburg will continue to

“build vision sensor to tune for higher speeds”. It is then a possibility that it could again be applied to cars if the technology advances enough. The important thing here is the speed of transduction of the initial stimulus to the action been carried out. Once removing such things as pressure and human delays, the technology can hopefully advance.

The biological mechanism is thanks to evolution that has adapted the locusts to “exquisitely adapt for collisions”. The systems being studied are those which are used by locusts as a last ditch attempt to avoid predators or lose height quickly. The research will continue from funding from the European Union and Dr Claire Rind here at Newcastle University will remain at the centre of it.

Monday 4 March 2013

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Lintern’s lessons: “Do things that

News Editor Anna Templeton sat down with the newlyappointed Director of the Careers Service to talk about life after University and slumming it with students in Leazes

EXCLUSIVE The prospect of graduation may seem like a daunting prospect for students finishing this summer. However, Marc Lintern, the new Director of the University’s Career Service, had some reassuring words for soon-tobe graduates. Speaking to The Courier, he spoke of the need to embrace change and to prepare for the future. Recalling his own experiences, as a student studying psychology at Plymouth University, Marc empathised with students about how overwhelmed many are feeling when thinking about how to use their degrees in the ‘real world’. He said: “When I was a student I went to talks that said that I could be a cognitive psychologist or an education psychologist. “And actually, very few students go on to these professions. So what happens to the rest? I had no idea.” When Marc graduated he went back home to live with his parents, as he felt unsure about what to do with his degree.

“I’m going back in time here, but then I came out and went back to living with my parents. “When you’re 21 and have been away for three years, it’s a bit of a drag. I then started working for a small business, and felt isolated.” He continued: “I was having a great time at work, but then I thought - my degree, why did I bother?” “There will be Marc decided around 400,000 the best option him was to students coming for go and see an out of HE this advisor to disyear. If you want cuss the future to get on a gradu- of his career. “We went ate scheme, through some there’s proboptions… and ably going to be I ended up bearound 25,000 coming a capeople applying” reers advisor!” Joining the King’s Gate team in January, Marc spoke about his plans for the future. He stressed the importance of seeking careers advice during University and not leaving work experience and decisions until the last minute.

He said: “You’ve got this huge resource here whilst you’re a student. So the time to seek advice is now.” Marc also spoke about the fierce competition for graduate jobs. “There will be around 400,000 students coming out of Higher Education this year. That’s a lot of people. If you want to go on to a graduate scheme, there’s probably going to be around 25,000 people applying, so it is extremely competitive.” He also spoke to students about the prestige associated with being a student from Newcastle University. “I don’t think some quite realise how much employers want them. Newcastle is a top university, the students here have really good grades and there’s lot of options out there.” He added: “Employers don’t always mind what course you were on. They want to know what you’ve gained, and so it doesn’t matter what you’ve studied. It’s about presenting yourself in a positive way.” Marc said about how Newcastle students are sought after by employers, “but students mustn’t be complacent because they’re looking at Manchester, Leeds, Liverpool, Exeter and places like

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Monday 4 March 2013

will add value to your degree”

SAGE ADVICE Marc Lintern, the new head at the Careers Service, aims to put students in the best possible position for when they leave the Toon and enter the saturated job market

that who have also got great students. They’re looking for the best.” Marc has spoken to various heads of schools around the University who are concerned about the lack of interest in events to do with postgraduate employment. “People see it as careers, and therefore a bit dull.” Marc said his daughter shares this view that careers events are dull. He said how, when he encouraged her to attend an event, she said: “Dad I’m not going to that, it’s going to be boring.” Marc said he understood “I don’t think why people may have this some quite realise how much opinion. have employers want the“People perception them. Newcastle that it’s going is a top university, to be dull, be the students here boring. HowI went to have really good ever, a talk last week grades and where somethere’s lot of one from The options out there” A p p r e n t i c e spoke and he was really great. “I have heard lots of people speak about their career, and it’s actually really interesting.” When asked about whether he felt students knew the services available to them, Marc said that: “When students are thinking about university, they’ll be thinking they need to go to a university

that leads into a job. “I think when students get here (and I was no different) they want to enjoy being a student. “They emerge themselves in their sub-

future options.” He also spoke about the importance of enhancing a degree with other activities. “Part-time work, volunteering, all the roles through the SU, but also taking

ject, partying, part time jobs and their life. “But the students who are really switched on will get involved. Whether it’s getting advice, going to events, talking to employers or getting work experience. “That’s the encouragement I would give: do things that will add value to your degree.” The award-winning Careers Service is based on Level 1 of King’s Gate and students can drop in at any time. Marc spoke about the services offered, saying: “It’s not an award winning service for nothing. “The Careers staff are motivated by helping students and if students want us to do things, we would love to hear from them.” He added: “We often find that students come in with their CV, but they’re not sure what they want to do. “If that’s the case, we can book them in with a careers advisor to chat about

advantage of placement opportunities through your course. “We offer the Career Development Module, Newcastle Work Experience. These are all things to add on to your degree to make you employable.” Marc is currently living in Castle Leazes student accommodation, and told The Courier how all the students have been exceptionally friendly to him. “I’ve had a couple of fire alarms, one was at 3.30am in the morning! What I found interesting was that some students were coming in from their night out at this time. “It’s reminded me of the different hours people keep. I’m in work at 8am, so by 11pm, I am quite tired, whereas all the students are heading out! “It’s also reminded me about when I was at uni. The Leazes staff are lovely and it’s not like I’m hanging out with the students, but it’s been an interesting experience.” Marc was also asked about how he was

“I’ve had a couple of fire alarms, one was at 3.30am in the morning! What I found interesting was that some students were coming in from their night out at this time”

finding his time as part of the Newcastle staff team. He spoke about joining the Staff Second XI football club. “They’re a dead friendly bunch of lads, even if we are yet to win this season!” Marc has a keen interest in sport, saying: “I am a massive Bristol Rovers Fan and my favourite film ever is Field of Dreams. It’s a great, great film.” He spoke about his plans for the future of the Careers Service, which will involve running events and competitions. One competition after Easter will be a cross between The Apprentice and Dragon’s Den, and Marc hopes these events will raise awareness of the importance of thinking about careers. He also wants to have more employers visit campus to speak about their experiences in various different jobs and to disseminate knowledge about what it takes to get the job you want. But primarily, Marc wanted to emphasis how important it is for students to use the Careers Service whilst they have the opportunity. “You want to spend your years enjoying being a students. “But our biggest challenge is to get students to prepare for their future all the time they’re here.”

After some advice for life post-uni? Drop by the Careers Service: Level 1 in King’s Gate

Monday 4 March 2013

The Courier

Dragon to support young entrepreneurs By Emily Keen Newcastle has been named as one of the first Universities to have a Start-Up Loans Ambassador, appointed by entrepreneur James Caan. Natalie Diver, President of Newcastle University Entrepreneur Society, has been identified as Newcastle University’s first Ambassador. Start-Up Loans provides budding entrepreneurs between the age of 18-30 with a range of support, including access to a business mentor and capital. The scheme is the brainchild of Lord Young, ecoAt sixteen, nomic adviser to Caan left Cameron, school with no David and is chaired by qualifications. former Dragon Despite this, in and entrepreneur the mid 1980s, James Caan. The company he began a has £112milsuccessful ca- lion to help start reer in recruit- 25,000 businesses by 2015. They ment. Caan to provide joined Dragons’ seek affordable loans Den in 2007. and business training to young people looking to start a business. Caan’s support brings real expertise to the delivery of the scheme. James Caan is one of the UK’s most successful and dynamic entrepreneurs. He specialises in buyouts, venture capi-

tal, turnarounds, and real estate investment in the UK. At sixteen Caan left school with no qualifications. Despite this, in the mid 1980s, he began a successful career in recruitment. Just a few years later James founded Alexander Mann, a UK recruitment business, which he successfully grew to £130m turnover with 30 offices world-

ceive the appointment of Ambassador. The event was hosted by His Royal Highness as part of his continued focus on promoting entrepreneurship. Speaking of her first meeting at Caan’s offices in Mayfair, Natalie said: “I was delighted to be contacted and asked to represent Start Up Loans on campus. “I am passionate about entrepreneurship and helping to make self-employ-

wide. In 2007, Caan was invited to join the panel of the highly popular BBC TV show Dragons’ Den. He has always believed that the UK is an excellent platform for British entrepreneurs. Caan has appointed student ambassadors to represent Start-Up Loans at select universities across the country. Ambassadors are appointed to encouage other students to consider starting a business and direct young entrepreneurs to apply for Start-Up Loans. Caan comments that: “Student entrepreneurship is a vibrant community” he adds that: “through Start-Up Loans, we can help foster the amazing innovation that is evident in Universities across the country.” Natalie Diver travelled to Buckingham Palace on Monday 25th February to re-

ment accessible to all as an option after graduation, will be very rewarding” As an Ambassador, Natalie is the goto person on campus for starting a business. Tapped into all the right networks from Start-Up Loans and their Partners, they will be on hand to guide budding entrepreneurs to securing funding and turning their idea into a business. Natalie told The Courier that she “looks forward to working with James and the rest of the team to help start many new businesses in the North-East.”

“Student entrepreneurship is a vibrant community. Through Start-Up loans, we can help foster the amazing innovation that is evident in Universities across the country.”


Natalie has been chosen as Newcastle University’s first Ambassador. She is the person to get in contact with to discuss entrepreneurial schemes or business ideas.

Want to know more about this entrepreneurial scheme? Email:

Crow calls for student solidarity with unions Bob Crow, the leader of the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT), has called on young people to stand together in solidarity with striking workers and the disadvantaged in society in opposition to the Coalition. Speaking at a meeting held by Unite the Resistance on February 21 at the Labour Club in Newcastle, Crow explained that it was necessary for youngsters to understand the importance of

Labour administration had treated the young and explained that today’s generation were paying the consequences for their policies. “The fact of the matter is, this is the first time for 70 years that we are seeing youngsters living in worse social conditions than their parents…but it doesn’t need to be like this. “The government had enough money to bail out Lehman Brothers, why are the working class still having to pay for this mess?” The week-long strike is particularly relevant for Newcastle University as a

working with trade unions in the fight against cuts to public services. Crow made the comments after being asked about what young people should do in order to support Metro cleaners, who went on strike for a week in a dispute over working conditions and pay, many of whom are members of the RMT union. “I think that students should be harassing and haranguing their MPs, lobbying, working together so that the strikers’ demands can be met. “There needs to be co-operation between the trade unions and young people. Because of the political and economic climate, organisations like the BNP and the EDL can stick their hand out and seem like a good option. “It happened in Germany in the 1930s. That is why we need to stick together.” He was critical of the way in which the current government and the previous

large number of students use the Metro on a daily basis. It is estimated that over 100,000 trips are made daily on the Tyne and Wear service, and such a potentially disruptive measure exemplifies the tactics of RMT who claim to have over 80,000 members in the transport industry. Churchill, a private company subcontracted to employ the workers, were criticised at the meeting for refusing to allow the provision of free travel passes for the cleaning to be carried out. Currently, the cleaners have to pay similar fares to commuters using the Metro service. This strike is symptomatic of the Metro workers’ long-term dissatisfaction. In December 2012, cleaners staged a 72-hour strike over similar complaints concerning pay and during the meeting Crow expressed a wish for a one-day general strike.

By Matthew Hall

“It happened in Germany in the 1930s. That is why we need to stick together”

The Courier


Monday 4 March 2013

Library lodger ‘overdue’ welcome By Anna Templeton News Editor The library at St John’s College Cambridge has been home to an unexpected guest living “under the radar” for six weeks. The visitor apparently ‘tailgated’ college members by entering the library with students entering the building for late-night studying sessions. The man was a homeless man who had been using the library to sleep in for a month and a half. Some students noticed the man pretending to read. Others said the man never changed his clothes and would fall asleep in the audio-visual room. The library resident was described as

Job Title: Customer Service Advisor Employer: Home Group Closing date: 04.03.2013 Salary: £8.69 per hour Basic job description: A Customer Service Advisor is required to work 15 hours per week - Monday to Friday, 6:00pm - 9:00pm. You will be responsible for contacting our customers to support them in arranging arrears payment plans, to do this effectively you should be able to analyse available information and make decisions taking into account relevant details. You will be IT savvy, outcome focussed and able to work well under pressure and to targets. Person requirements: You will have significant experience in working with customers or clients, preferably with a background in collections within a commercial organisation with a focus on reaching positive outcomes. You will be adept in managing difficult conversations and will possess excellent communication and negotiation skills. Location: Newcastle upon Tyne. Job Title: Office Assistant Employer: Next Closing date: 07.03.2013 Salary: £6.21 per hour Basic job description: An Office Assistant is required to work 4 hours per week (Sat: 08:30-12:30) at the store in Durham Arnison Retail Park. You will assist with the dayto-day operation of the office environment, to ensure all aspects of store administration are completed in line with Company and audit requirements. Person requirements: Experience working in a customer service/office environment. Flexible approach to working hours i.e. able to work reasonable additional hours, public holidays and Sundays in line with the needs of the business. Location: Durham. Job Title: Portuguese Speaking Search Marketing Assistant Employer: Silverbean Closing date: 08.03.2013 Salary: National Minimum Wage Basic job description: A Portuguese Speaking Search Marketing Assistant is required to work 7.5 hours per week for Silverbean. Supported by other members of the team, your role will involve: Providing key phrase research and competitor analysis, helping to create search marketing strategies which deliver against our clients’ business and marketing objectives, conducting onsite optimisation reviews of websites to ensure maximum search engine visibility and

a slim black man with dreadlocks in his thirties. A second-year undergraduate said: “He said, ‘How’s it going?’ when I saw him. He didn’t look homeless, he The Big Issue didn’t smell. sellers near the “When I saw college said the him using the he man sounded computer said he was ‘just like a busker emailing the dewho plays in partment’. He Cambridge at didn’t seem like he would have weekends caused any trouble. He seemed polite and relatively well spoken.” The front door of St John’s Working Library is unlocked when staffed, but

executing link building campaigns. Person requirements: You’ll need to have effective organisational skills, demonstrate initiative and be able to challenge yourself and have determination and attitude to develop your knowledge and skills. Location: Newcastle upon Tyne. Job Title: Kiosk Assistant/Till Worker Employer: Sunderland Association Football Club Closing date: None given. Salary: To be confirmed Basic job description: The Lindley Group @ Sunderland Association Football Club are currently looking to add to their enthusiastic and established team for the three massive concerts that will take place in June. This is an exciting opportunity to become part of a fast paced and dynamic team on concert day at the Stadium of Light. We are looking for keen individuals focused on providing a customer experience second to none. Induction and training will be given before your start date. Person requirements: None given. Location: Sunderland. Job Title: Tuner’s Assistant Employer: Harrison & Harrison Ltd. Closing date: None given. Salary: £6.66 per hour Basic job description: Harrison and Harrison are looking for individuals who would like to work on an intermittent or casual basis as a Tuner’s Assistant. The work involves travelling to organs around the local area with a tuner and assisting in the work. On occasion there will overnight stays or weeks away. Travel time from the workshop to site (or from accommodation to site if working away) is paid at the normal rate. Allowances are paid for expenses. Work is available immediately. Person requirements: The ideal candidate would have some musical knowledge/ ability, be flexible and cheerful. The job is varied and willingness to adapt and learn is essential. Location: North East England. Job Title: Event Security Stewards Employer: G4S Closing date: 19.03.2013 Salary: £8.50 per hour Basic job description: As part of G4S, the biggest security company in the UK, we are looking to boost our Events Security Team here at Newcastle. The position is part time/casual – and perfect for people looking to supplement their current income,

locked outside staff hours. Students can access the library 24/7 with their student card. The man was reported to the porters at the college. He was then asked to leave after he could not prove himself a student. The man was located by porters and asked to leave on Valentine’s Day. A spokesman for St John’s College said: “The presence of a male in the library was reported to the porters who asked him to leave when he was unable to identify himself as a student of the college. “He has not been seen in St John’s subsequently”. The Big Issue sellers near the college said the man sounded like a busker who plays in Cambridge at weekends.

or students looking for part time work. We are looking for people to work as part time/ casual Security stewards, within our events security team. You will have the opportunity to work at local events and also events around the UK. Person requirements: The ideal candidate will be over 18 years of age - be smart, professional and approachable and ideally have experience in a Customer Focused environment and have strong communication skills. This role is ideal for people who have evenings and weekends free - due to the nature of when our events are. SIA Door Supervisors Licence is essential. Location: Newcastle upon Tyne. Job Title: Telephone Researchers Employer: Acritas Research Ltd. Closing date: 27.03.2013 Salary: Competitive Basic job description: A fantastic opportunity is now available for law students to work part-time in afternoons/evenings as a telephone researcher. Exact shift patterns can be discussed; full time work is also available. Typically the role will involve desk research, telephone interviews, recording data, appointment management, sample management and using computer systems. Person requirements: Excellent written and spoken communication skills and a highly professional attitude, familiarity with Microsoft Office packages and good general computer literacy, able to learn and use computer systems and other technical equipment, comfortable working with new technology. You should also have a good standard of literacy and numeracy. Location: Newcastle upon Tyne. Job Title: Sales Advisor Employer: French Connection Closing date: 18.03.2013 Salary: National Minimum Wage Basic job description: A Sales Advisor is required to work up to 16 hours per week at the French Connection store in the Metrocentre, Gateshead. Duties will include liaising with customers to create sales and meet targets, stock replenishment, cash handling and other general store duties. Person requirements: Applicants must have previous retail experience and the confidence to approach and speak to customers. Excellent customer service, numeracy and communication skills, and the ability to work as part of a team are also essential. Location: Gateshead.

Class A President drugs found accused of on campus ‘vile’ sexism University of Exeter

University of Warwick

Traces of cocaine have been found in 11 buildings on the Exeter campus. A series of specialist swab tests were carried out to reveal traces of the Class A drug in several toilets in addition to a number of academic and administrative buildings. The swabs were also found to test positive in a staff-only section of the University, as well as various toilets used for staff, students and visitors. The Exeter Estate Patrol stated that the number of reported drug incidents on campus had increased two-thirds in 2012. The 23 drug-related incidents last year were said to have been largely use of cannabis but these recent findings will prompt further inquiries into recreational drug use across the campus. A spokesperson for Estate Patrol said they sometimes receive phone calls from students noticing a suspicious smell in Halls of Residence. It was confirmed that in the majority of cases reported to Estate Patrol, cannabis was the drug in use.

Warwick’s student president, Nick Swain, was caught out this week when YouTube footage caught him unclipping a girl’s bra during a riotous party thrown by the University. The moment was captured in a video promoting Warwick’s ski and snowboard society but went viral after a disgusted student, labelling it ‘vile’, posted it on YouTube. At the end of the video there is a message from its editor which says: “We demand an apology from Nick Swain for his foul, sexist behaviour.” The same footage was also deemed inappropriate as it captures drunken students pulling their trousers down with ‘Hitler moustaches’. The Students’ Union at Warwick is launching an investigation into the matter after a multitude of student complaints were issued. In a statement in the Warwick Boar student newspaper, Swain said: “I unreservedly apologise for my actions and for any offence that this video has caused.”

£565,092 expenses on dinners

MP refuses to debate with Israeli citizen

University of Cambridge

University of Oxford

A Freedom of Information request at Cambridge exposed the exuberant expenditure spent on College Fellows’ fine dining. Most significant of the College expenditure was Trinity which amassed £565,092 between 2011 and 2012, a figure that quadrupled the expenditure of other Cambridge Colleges. The money was said to have been supplied from Trinity’s ‘General College Funds’ and in turn supplied 30,797 lunches and suppers for its 170 guests and fellows. Tr i n it y ’s amount spend on Fellows was nearly four times as much as the second highest spending college, Jesus. The fine dining is encompassed within the Fellows’ remuneration rights but is considered disproportionate by students within the colleges. This issue of Formal rights comes at a time when wider issues in employment rights at the University are under scrutiny.

An Oxford student has said he was “left humiliated” after the Bradford West MP George Galloway walked out of a debate on Israel. Galloway has been accused of racism for leaving the debate as soon as he discovered his opponent was an Israeli citizen. Galloway had been invited to speak at an event organized by Christ Church College in favour of the motion “Israel should withdraw immediately from the West Bank”. Less than three minutes into a speech from Oxford student Eylon A s l a n - L e v y ’s , Galloway interrupted, asking “You said we. Are you an Israeli?” Third year student Aslan-Levy answered “I am, yes.” Galloway promptly stood up and replied: “I don’t debate with Israelis, I’ve been misled, sorry.” As Galloway left the room, a member of the audience shouted “racism”, to which the MP replied: “I don’t recognise Israel and I don’t debate with Israelis.”

Images: JLM Photography and lewishamdreamer

Laura Wotton and Anna Templeton

The Courier


Monday 4 March 2013


Comment Editors: Georgina Moule and Laura Wotton Online Comment Editor: Jennifer Evans | @Courier_Comment

Are you ever too old to go to Uni? LAURA WOTTON COMMENT EDITOR


would always agree with the statement that ‘you are never too old to learn’. Yet, in the light of David Willet’s comments on the benefits of higher education for older people, I see evident flaws in the proposal. Of course it seems sensible, almost practical, for older men and women to keep their skills up to date to evolve with the ever-changing employment criteria. Yet is University the best place to do this? As someone who submitted UCAS applications conveniently in the midst of the proposed fee tripling, I experienced what can only be described as rejection en mass. Who was getting these golden tickets to tertiary education? At the risk of sounding entirely ageist, my envisagement of a 60 year-old smugly occupying ‘my’ undergraduate position for some retiree entertainment was somewhat depressing. Despite the evident validity of Willet’s statement that there is a ‘great value in lifelong learning’, I see little point other than entertainment or diversion for those already retired to fill undergraduate spaces. Broken down into its grittiest form, if tertiary education can be

viewed as a means by which to secure a job, surely we as the next generation of first-time employees deserve these limited places over an older, and previously employed, generation? Perhaps the worst of these cases resembles the ‘University returnee’ who, having bagged a spot in higher education a good few decades ago, now chooses to relive the bygone days again whilst plaguing the application opportunities of an 18 yearold ‘hopeful’.

“For many, ‘undergraduate’ clearly spells out youth” For many, ‘Undergraduate’ clearly spells out youth, the chance to expand one’s knowledge fresh out of secondary school. However, the older generation might well have been out of the education system for decades, so long that their ‘wizened’ words are a world apart from the developing teenager. Here I propose the revelation of evening classes, essentially a forum in which older employed or retired people can focus on a singular skill development to add to their capabilities, rather than live out three, perhaps more, years alongside other undergraduates keenly discovering which career path to take. In addition to this we might question the rather skewed nature of taking out

a student loan in your ‘60s. Although I evidently cannot speak on behalf of said age, I would imagine that much later in life my priorities will shift. University, especially with the current sky-high fees, seems a bit of an indulgence considering the money could be saved elsewhere, potentially to provide financial security for younger family members. I am painfully aware of my position as devil’s advocate, yet, as a first time University student, I stand by my belief that Universities should prioritise those who haven’t yet experienced tertiary education and those needing a platform for permanent employment in the future.



he Universities Minister David Willetts has announced that the upper age limit for student loan applications has been increased from 54 in a bid to encourage more mature students over 60 to come and study at university. Last year, only 1,940 out of 552,240 students starting undergraduate courses were older than 50. As fellow students I believe that we should be welcoming the attempt that this proposal makes to try and change this statistic – whatever

age we are. First of all, we should remember that studying at university in the UK means we are receiving one of the highest levels of education in the world. It can be easy to forget this, what with all the work and stress that is involved in our degrees, but I think we should take a step back and recognise what an immense privilege this is, and how lucky we are to be a part of it. Therefore, it seems unfair to

“As life expectancies increase, the UK faces an ageing population”

use age as the only means to disqualify older students from this. Also, on a more basic level, as human beings in general learning and education represents an expansion of our knowledge and mental abilities, and age does not change this fact. Arguably, this should be even more relevant with students over 60, as the proposal suggests. Doing a degree at this age, compared to what might be considered as the ‘normal’ time to do a degree, may serve to stimulate the minds of older students to a greater extent than younger students, and maintain their mental alertness. Henry Ford summed it up well by saying that “anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Any-


Should universities be just for the young? Image: University of Georgia (Wikimedia)

one who keeps learning stays young. The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young”. David Willetts has suggested that many older workers would previously struggle to compete with many younger workers in terms of qualifications and training. However, by opening up universities to more mature students, this gives them the opportunity to retrain, refresh their current skills and gain others. Doing a degree later on in life will help to improve people’s abilities, and as a result, benefit their CVs and their credentials, presenting them with a greater level of employability. This will in turn benefit the workplace, as it will serve to create more of a level playing field in the economy, in terms of older workers being able to compete with younger workers. I believe that this is more important than ever considering the highly competitive nature that the UK job market currently has. In relation to this, we should bear in mind that as life expectancies increase, the UK faces an ageing population, with one in four people estimated to be 65 or older by 2033. The economic downturn has resulted in the state pension age and retirement ages on average going up, as many people find that in the face of many financial pressures, they can’t afford to retire, and so continue to work. Therefore, this opportunity for retraining and increasing employability is even more relevant. Rather than doing a degree to fill up spare time or to pursue a personal interest, many older students will directly benefit from their university educations and put them to relevant usage in their careers.

12.comment 3 reasons why... ...The downgrading of Britain’s credit rating doesn’t matter... 1) The downgrading only confirms what we already know Despite this downgrading by the credit rating agency Moody’s being a jolt to the system, in reality it was more of a question of not if, but when. It represents the view of what most economists and investors already had on the state of the UK economy, and that the UK government’s plan to reduce the deficit and generate economic growth will take longer than expected. Therefore, to an extent the significance of this downgrading will be limited – Moody’s was just catching up with what most of the financial world already knew.

2) The UK’s credit rating is still considered very high

Moody’s measures the credit rating of countries on a scale from AAA to C, with 21 levels of credit rating. Considering this, the fact that Moody’s has downgraded the UK from AAA (the topmost level) to AA1 (the second level) isn’t particularly big. Moody’s recognises that with an AA1 credit rating the UK remains in a very strong position, with “significant credit strengths”. Investment in the UK has a very low credit risk, meaning that it is still highly regarded by investors looking for reliability.

3) Other countries have recovered well from a downgrading The UK isn’t the only economy to have had its credit rating downgraded in recent years. In fact, it was one of the last countries with the rating – Germany and Canada are the only major economies to still have it. France’s was downgraded in November last year, and the USA, the world’s biggest economy, was downgraded in August 2011. In both of these cases, the downgrading did not result in significant economic effects and has not dramatically changed the way these countries are viewed in terms of reliability of investment, and the same may be the case for the UK. Image: HM Treasury (WIkimedia) Liam Turnbull-Brown

Monday 4 March 2013

The Courier

In defence of trial by jury

After the Judge in the trial of Chris Huhne’s ex-wife dismissed the jury, Francesca Powell defends the importance of trial by jury for our legal system FRANCESCA POWELL


he Huhne speeding points saga got an unexpected (and, let’s face it, unwelcome) extension last week. The jury for Huhne’s exwife Vicky Pryce’s trial (for perverting the course of justice) was dissolved, after they asked the judge some pretty basic questions they’d know the answers to if they’d consulted their brains beforehand. Try this gem: ‘If there’s debatable evidence supporting the prosecution case, can inferences be drawn to arrive at a verdict?’ But the best has got to be: ‘Can a juror come to a verdict based on a reason that was not presented in court and has no facts or evidence to support it either from the prosecution or defence?’ So now, with the end in sight, the judges are racking up the suspense by making us wait until Pryce’s new trial is over before we get to find out what punishment is in store for Huhne. Well, I guess they have to keep the public interested

somehow. One of the more worrying develop-

and decide. Using ordinary people as jurors also makes it much cheaper to run trials (since jurors are obliged to do it as a civic duty) than trained legal experts - surely a major consideration in an era of government austerity, where huge cuts have been made to the legal system. Another issue that necessitates keep-

“This seems to be a moment of madness among a couple “Trial by jury has worked for of overexcited commentators” over 800 years, since Henry II ments as a result of all this has been the sudden suggestion that jury trials are introduced it” no longer fit for purpose. However, this seems to me to be a moment of madness among a couple of overexcited commentators; the kind who think the death penalty is the best way of reducing reconviction. Juries remain a vital part of the legal system. For starters, legal knowledge isn’t necessary in deciding whether the defendant is guilty based on evidence and argument, all you need is to listen

ing a peer jury is that most people think judges are woefully out of touch with the rest of society. Juries made up of ordinary people helps keeps the judiciary in touch with public. 93% of judges are men, 7/10 went to public school and 2/3 attended Oxbridge (Institute of Employment Rights figures), figures which sound similar to the Cabinet’s demo-

graphic makeup, so most people are reassured to know that ordinary people do have a say in how they are governed. It’s also a human right to have trial by your peers, since it helps prevent state vendettas – an absence of political bias in the judiciary is necessary to maintaining democracy. Finally, and most obviously, trial by jury has worked for over 800 years, since Henry II introduced it. Are we really going to ignore that because of the stupidity of 12 people who struggled to divorce facts presented in court from speculation in the media? It speaks volumes that Mr Justice Sweeney, the judge in charge of the case, hasn’t seen a trial collapse like this in a 30-year career, so why are we worrying about an entire system that has influenced legal systems around the world because of one clearly highly unusual case?

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Snort out your priorities

After students at Kings College London received emails asking for volunteers to take cocaine for a clinical trial, Sarah Pratley discusses whether this sort of research is worthwhile SARAH PRATLEY


ree cocaine, anyone? Yes, this is essentially the question that Kings College London has posed to its students. Hundreds of postgraduate and undergraduate students received an email asking for ‘healthy male volunteers, 25 – 40 years of age, to take part in a clinical study involving nasal administration of cocaine’. Participants must be ‘fit and well, have no past medical history and not be users of recreational drugs’. Dentists and medics will not be admitted to the study. The email states under its useful ‘What will happen?’ section that ‘after cocaine administration, repeated biological samples (blood, urine, hair, sweat, oral fluid) will be taken to compare and investigate how cocaine and its metabolites are spread through the human body’. A spokesperson for Kings College said: “This is an important scientific study to investigate how cocaine and its metabolites are spread through the human body. All the relevant ethical approvals were received for this study. The study will be conducted under the highest level of medical supervision in a dedicated clinical research suite.” And no they weren’t lying; London Westminster Research Ethics Committee has actually approved this. So the thing that’s bothering me about

this is what is the research actually for? Yes it’s an ‘important’ study into ‘how cocaine and its metabolites are spread through the human body’; well done Kings, round of applause for you. But will it just be left at that or will something useful be done with the information? Let’s not beat about the bush, something needs to be done about cocaine. It is second only to cannabis as the most popular recreational drug in the UK. Alongside Spain, use of the drug in the UK is the highest in Europe. It is a Class A drug and to be in possession of cocaine or supplying it to others is punishable by 7 years imprisonment and a fine. So if this research was to help raise awareness of the problems of cocaine or to help those in Britain already addicted, then I think my scepticism would be unfair. However, these intentions are not the ones that Kings seem to be pursuing. Also, let’s consider the participants in this study. These ‘fit and well’ young men who aren’t ‘users of recreational drugs’ aren’t going to be fit and well for long. Ironically, the email even states ‘there is no direct benefit from taking part’. All that participants can expect to receive is ‘reasonable financial compensation’ for time, effort and expenses. Surely there are better ways to earn money. I’m not saying that this study will ruin their lives, but these men must have promising prospects. They go to Kings, after all – the 12th best university in Europe according to the 2012 Times Higher Education World University Rankings. How good will these prospects remain if they become addicted to cocaine as a result? I just can’t under-

stand the attraction of taking part. Surely it would be more productive to do these tests on people already addicted to cocaine – I’m sure there are plenty of metabolites in their bodies to base

the research on. And then the research can be used to help their addiction. This research could help cocaine addicts, but encouraging more people to take it doesn’t seem to be a great place to start.


Are students the right target for this sort of study? Image: Zxc (Wikimedia)

The Courier


Monday 4 March 2013

Media claims strike out at Mum on benefits In the light of Heather Frost’s supposed housing benefit scandal, Josh Corlett discusses the intrusive nature of the media and the moral and economic complexities of the benefit system JOSH CORLETT


hh, another week, another benefits cheat. Unemployed mother of 11 (yes 11 whole kids!) Heather Frost has recently been granted a ‘six bedroom, £400,000 mansion’ by Tewkesbury council absolutely free. Right on cue in storms the holier than thou tabloid press, most notably the Daily Mail Gallantly standing up for the rights of the Great British tax payer against these workshy benefits cheats. Hoorah! Is this another example of our belligerent tabloid press seemingly churning out more sanctimonious bollocks? Well yes. But bear with me. It may well be too late to claim this is not a general bit of tabloid bashing, but I am instead trying to ask whether it is right that the

media question benefits that may not be appropriate to their needs. Well yes. That’s the beauty of the press, but it far too often abuses that right in the name of public interest. As I believe they have done in this case.

“The belligerent tabloid press are churning out more sanctimonious bollocks”

The poor mother on benefits is often the key ingredient for cheap newsprint and has no doubt been exploited yet again.

Right, tabloid bashing over, let’s get down to why we should be spared this modern morality tale. Regarding our beloved public purse, are these people really economically significant? Well no, not at all. Firstly there are ‘190’ families which have ten or more children in which at least one parent is on out of work benefits. These families would be entitled to a maximum of ‘£61,000’ a year, that’s not to say that that is the amount they actually claim. If they did so this would account for £11,590,000 in annual benefits, which out of an annual benefits bill (excluding pensioners) totalling more than £100 billion, adds up to less than one hundredth of 1%. As eye catching and shocking this story appears it is financially insignificant and irrelevant. The media would also have us believe that benefit claiming single mums intentionally pop out numerous children to simply bolster their weekly cheque. In fact the 1.35 million benefit claiming households have an average of 1.9 children per family, almost identical to the national average. Now the mansion. Yes a newly built

six bedroom house is a considerable size house, which few would turn their

“It doesn’t take an estate agent to realise that 14 people in a 6 bedroom house is hardly lavish”

nose up at. But let’s put this in perspective, this woman had 11 kids! That’s not to mention her partner and grandson, in fact a total of 14 people appear to be living with her. Now, it doesn’t take an estate

agent to realise that 14 people in a six bedroom house is hardly lavish. Besides, if we had, say a family of four and two families of five, all on out of work benefits, If each was given a council house then surely this would cost the tax payer more? And what exactly does the Mail suggest would be an appropriate response? Cut their benefits? Let the children suffer? It’s not like they’re not already suffering the consequences of the vilification of their family by the national press? How about we regulate how many children the poorer in society have? Really now, before we know it you’ll be taking your bank statement to the 12 week scan. All these stories do is perpetrate the obstructive myth that all on benefits are cheats and scroungers. It’s shameless propaganda that sells newspapers and turns society on the poorest and most vulnerable. Morality is now based on the balance sheet. In the public court where the media play judge, jury and executioner it sadly appears that something must be economically justifiable before it is morally so.

Publication problem

With the recent NUSU Elections lighting up campus, Richard Speir asks whether more posters around the Union means more buzz RICHARD SPEIR


t’s funny that when the Union want to advertise anything it’s plastered everywhere, but when others want to publicise their activity they’re not allowed. Any visitor to the University last week would have been accosted by a sea of eager campaign teams, ready to convince the electorate that their candidate was the best. The paper, the banners and the songs simply lit up Kings Walk. It mattered not that the visitors couldn’t participate; far more important was that they saw what a University should be like. Ignore all the league tables and surveys – If I had seen the University on any day last week, I would have wanted to come here. And yet, as voting drew to a close last week, I had a realisation. It’s never normally like this, is it? For us on campus the reality is often far more grey. If you want to advertise your own thing, be it a society event or selling your car, it’s very tricky. The Union offers so many different things for people to do, see and enjoy, but when it comes down to it they provide little opportunity for us to spread the word. Indeed, you have so many rules and silly bureaucratic hoops to jump through that it rather saps the life out of what you’re doing. On a normal week, it’s very disheartening. You can’t flyer here, or you can’t flyer there and you often need permission. Permission for what? Getting people to come to an event that the Union encouraged you to put on? Why can’t I put a poster up on Hadrian’s Bridge? Why can’t I add colour to the white walls of the Union (which, by the way, is the worst place to advertise anything)? If you haven’t got a digital poster then

you might as well go home. There are pathetically few poster boards, and the only people allowed to put posters on the barren walls are… Union staff ! Surprise, surprise, MensBar and CCTV posters litter the place, but that’s about it.

“If you haven’t got a digital poster then you might as well go home” However invasive the paper and the passion had become, here was a campus suddenly alive with students voicing what they thought, and telling others about their ideas. What else should a Students’ Union advocate? It is nothing less than tragic that this is not more normal. Of course, it cannot always be on the same scale as last week. The uniqueness of elections is that hundreds have a vested interest in getting their mates into a position, but even then election rules fail to go far enough. Last year’s turnout for the election was woeful. No wonder! Everyone must have been so shocked by all the sudden fun that they didn’t what to do. The majority of third years soon to leave the shelter of education will doubtless reflect on their time here with fondness. Yet they might also realise that it could have been a tiny bit less formulaic and dull. For one glorious week it felt like I was at University. Now I feel like pulling on a suit and grabbing a briefcase so I don’t stand out. How boring.

The Courier


Monday 4 March 2013

On the road to electric success? As the Nissan Leaf becomes the best selling electric car of all time, James Brodie discusses the growth in popularity of electric vehicles and the future of the market



ith fuel prices soaring, the electric future for motoring dawns. But how far are we from electric vehicles being a realistic alternative? Earlier this month, the Nissan Leaf, one of the new models of electric car available to the public as an alternative to a traditional fossil fuel car, surpassed the 50,000 sales mark since its launch in 2010. An impressive achievement by Nissan, who have been hailed by the motoring press as being a driving force in the industry, by making electric motoring somewhat affordable, and to the average motorist, somewhat unremarkable. The eternal problem prior to the leaf was the inherent ‘quirkiness’ electric motoring provided. Vehicles like the G-Wiz never caught on in a popular sense owing to the fact it wasn’t really a proper alternative, more a Little Tykes car with a battery pack. Producing a car like so was never appealing to the common man, and at nearly £8,000, the price for such a bare and impractical vehicle made the GWiz into a cult car rather than something viable for everyday use by most people. Renault are currently seeking to enter the oddball fray with the new Twizy. A small, two seat EV, which has been welcomed into the arms of the

MARX MY WORDS #3- I’d rather be fat than intolerant

Will electrically powered cars dominate our roads in the near future? Image: Osvaldo Gago (Wikimedia)



motoring press owing to its higher appeal and lower price than the G-Wiz, but is still regarded as impractical and an expensive toy to use around the city. The off-the-wall approach to electric cars seems to be a late 20th/Early 21st

tric vehicle in the USA accounted for 38% of cars on American roads, but the poor infrastructure of the US electrical grid made it difficult for many people to run such cars. Today, although not nearly as much of an issue, charging points about town centre’s are still scarce, and many point fingers at the environmental credentials of fuelling a car from the national grid, in regards to the manner in which power is produced at the plant. If electric power is to become the normal mode of propulsion for road vehicles then issues surrounding recharging and the range of the car must be addressed, or the electric car will forever be regarded as a toy, or by some car manufacturers, a very special toy indeed.

“The one major setback for electric cars is charging them up in the first place” “50,000 sales of an electric car is a stellar achievement ” century phenomenon when looking into the history of such vehicles. Electric power was somewhat popular in the USA during the earlier parts of the 20th century, owing to the petrol powered cars of the time suffering from poor refinement, reliability, and at the time, the difficulty in driving such cars. In truth, the very notion of owning a car in these times was seen as exotic, and the typical usage for a car was to potter about town rather than cover great distance. However, one of the major setbacks for electric cars pre First World War was the same problem facing them today, charging them up in the first place. Prior to the First World War, the elec-

The large-scale torque produced by an electric motor means that some carmakers have looked into the possibility of creating sports models using electric motors, the Tesla Roadster being the most well known example of this. But now, even the giants of the motor industry are beginning to take note of

the immense power a large electric motor can offer. Mercedes-Benz are set to launch the SLS AMG Electric Drive this year, promising to be the most desirable and fastest electric car to date. It would be silly to suggest that such a car will lead the industry in the correct direction, but as a technological exercise, the new Mercedes is a very relevant and important step in the right direction for electric technology in cars. A step in the right direction is always a good thing, but the electric car industry needs to leap in the right direction in order to compete with fossil fueled cars. In 2012, the electric market, including hybrid and extended range cars accounted for just over 3% of new car sales in the USA. And in the context of the Nissan leaf, its 50,000 sales since 2010 is dwarfed by the Ford Focus, with ford selling over 730,000 in 2012 alone. Although 50,000 sales of an electric car is a stellar achievement by Nissan, the electric future still remains distant. Nissans small success has relied on the fact that they are selling the leaf as a car, rather than an electric vehicle. The technology will certainly progress. Televisions used to be huge, unaffordable and blurry boxes, but nowadays, are High Definition flat screens affordable to most people. Ultimately, the time manufacturers spend developing these cars, in tandem with government and private sector support to make owning an electric car viable by providing fast and available charging points will determine if the electric car project has the range to become a success.

I read an article in The Tab this week. Be warned that it is a deal more outspoken than The Courier. The particular article I read was about obesity, and in particular ‘Why we shouldn’t tolerate fatties’. Being fat is a lifestyle choice for the vast majority of obese individuals. Whilst there are conditions which can make it more difficult to maintain a healthy waistline, it is not impossible for all but a very small minority. Opposition to obese individuals however, is born out of an intolerant approach to difference. I believe those who are so angered by the individuals themselves, simply don’t want to have to see people different to themselves in a way they believe is disgusting. The anti-fatty brigade are a breed of NIMBY. A term usually reserved for opponents of wind farms in their local area on the grounds that they ruin the view, I figure this is the basis for some of the opposition to obesity. Some people just don’t like having to see fat people. They detest getting stuck behind them on the stairs and are pushed to the brink of nausea by those pictures on the news; the ones of faceless guts walking up and down a high street in Torfaen (the fat capital of Wales). Well tough, some people might not be as pretty as you think you are, and this petit bourgeois approach to a fashionable body type encourages everybody to conform. The same people are often the first to worry about anorexia, and its seemingly unstoppable growth among young people. Yet it is Orwellian double-thinking to imagine that all the high pitched screaming about Britain becoming the ‘fat-man of Europe’, isn’t a cause of the growth of this terrible condition. The problem escalates when the law seeks to be on the side of the intolerants. Usually justified by the factually incorrect notion that obesity costs the NHS lots of money, people call for the state to encourage certain types of behaviour. In reality an obese individual, like a smoker or heavy drinker, costs the NHS less, over their lifetime, than a healthy person who is more likely to die slower and later, after requiring long term care before the inevitable. The state, nor its institutions has any role to play in nudging people through tax or legislation, to behave differently. Any state which tries to do this assumes responsibility for the well-being of individuals, a dangerous precedent with no end to potential measures. Simultaneously we should feel free to judge people for their lifestyle choices, but we should not allow this judgement to eclipse everything else. A fat person may decide they would rather have the extra doughnut than to look like you; does this really tell you everything you need to know about that individual? Are they not entitled to their choice, or is their lifestyle to be subject to your approval? To be intolerant of other people is a lifestyle choice too, frankly I think I’d rather be fat.


Monday 4 March 2013

So, 13 students walk into a bar... Wondering where the next generation of comedians are hiding? Wonder no more - last week Lifestyle Editors Ellie Cropper and Ellyn Bramley went along to the Chortle Student Comedy awards to meet the 13 students bidding for the judges’ affection - and desperate to avoid being the butt of the joke The Chortle Comedy Awards aim to find the best new up-and-coming stand-up comedians across the UK. With Simon Bird as a previous finalist, a smartphone worth £150 at stake and a place in the semifinals in Manchester or London, tensions were running high in the Venue at the Union. A substantial crowd formed as we tried to ignore the pacing contestants flitting around backstage. Meanwhile, the more confident sort sipped Newcastle Brown ale out of plastic pint glasses and pretended to be able to hear each other over the nondescript indie music in the background. Tony Jameson the MC for the night got us all into the spirit of things

with his incredibly fast Geordie accent and inability to finish a sentence without an expletive. He had one of those haircuts like a lego man where you’re almost sure it would easily clip off and on. Aside from that he gave a cracking introduction, the highlights of which included an anecdote about the wonders of calpol, whilst being in awe of the young man that had turned up wearing a full tweed suit complete with a breast pocket for his Marlboro reds. Leaving us with the horrific yet accurate image of Bigg Market on a Saturday night to be like “Jurassic Park in heels”, we eagerly awaited the first act.

The Courier

wearing one of the most shocking combos ever seen. Taken part in three gigs, all at the Union and therefore has the confidence to enter the competition. Agreed that every night out you need a ‘mid lash’ takeaway in reference to his set about clubbing being intimidating.

3. Tom Rush Our Verdict

1. Gavin Whitaker

Our Verdict

Self-deprecation isn’t really that funny. The question is “have you ever thought about how a Pringles tube is just that bit too thin to fit your hand down to the bottom when you’re a bit podgey?” Gavin has, and he proceeded to address this issue in depth, which made it much funnier considering he was a self confessed “fatty.” He concluded with a three minute love-letter to his beloved washing machine.

Meeting him

Has been performing in theatre since he was eight and confirmed that “Just put the light on and I become a dickhead”. 15th gig and still is yet to have a crash and burn moment. Success with girls is terrible, despite charming us.

2. George Servers Our Verdict

First year medic at Newcastle University, sported a clashing pumpkin orange cardigan and floral tie. He seemed fairly new to concept of stand-up as he kept referring to his notes and looking as though he wanted the ground to swallow him up. Coming over as a more indoors kind of a chap, he referred to clubbing as “a conspiracy of good looking people” confirming he had never been to Bigg Market on a Saturday night. We wholeheartedly concurred when he said that “all Newcastle’s club nights scream terminal illness or natural disaster “ and suggested ‘Apocalypse Thursday’s @ The Den’ as a potential massive new night.

Meeting him

Spent two hours deciding what to wear, despite


After lowering the tone with an awkward Mum joke to open, which went down like a lead balloon, he proceeded to go along the toilet humour route. Generally a people-pleaser, especially in the context of the Students’ Union, but it went on for so long that you were left wondering what your own name was.

Meeting him

Keele University. Mentioned that he’d made the final to another comedy competition on Sunday. His girlfriend confirmed that she hated his jokes and found them awkward and not funny. Tom was the guy that shouted encouragement to the guy that was struggling, so he seemed like a nice bloke. Realised he was funny when in his school report it said, “Tom has a unique sense of humour”.

4. Will Perham Our Verdict

We were starting to worry and scour for the nearest fire exit when Will opened with a joke involving entry requirements for heaven and Hitler in the same sentence. Bit close to the bone. The further into his seven minutes he got, the more relaxed he became and as a first attempt at stand-up comedy, he got a good amount of laughs from his home crowd and seemed pleased.

Meeting him

New to stand up, decided over a year ago to loose his stand up virginity but tonight had been his first chance to get involved. He was keen to carry on as he thought it went quite well. He quoted “ I’m not bothered if nobody finds me funny.”

5. Lauren Pattison Our Verdict

As the only girl in competition, Lauren could have easily been the fourth member of Destiny’s Child, or just replaced Michelle. She appeared to be very nervous before the Awards kicked off but she bounded on stage and lit up the room. Her dry sense of humour was just what this competition needed. She correctly pointed out that the most important thing she’d learnt at uni is just how expensive cheese is. Amen sister!




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Monday 4 March 2013

Meeting her

Trying out comedy to get over nerves and is a performing arts student at Northumbria. Would like to have a career that combined both comedy and her degree. She was spotted at the Stand and approached later in a club as a result. She said however that “just because I’m funny, that’s not an excuse to touch my bum.”

6. George Hughes Our Verdict

George was instantly likeable when he came out with the Jack Whitehall-esque line “I came from a very rough cottage.” He went on to discuss the trauma of being a short male and his mixed thoughts regarding one lucky lady’s observation that “you’re very well hung for someone your size.” Nice confident guy to finish off the evening.

Meeting him

Apparently mustardy carrot coloured trousers is George’s ‘thing’ along with repetition of boots form his lucky outfit. He was unsure as to whether being funny enhances your luck with the ladies as once he pulled a girl who recognized him in the club, and mid kiss announced “I’m only kissing cos you’re funny and you’re not that funny”

7. Marc Smethurst Our Verdict

After impressing with his mate Charlie (up next) at RAG’s Take Me Out, we expected great things from Marc and he didn’t let us down. His whole set revolved around a love of food and in particular, herbs. He mocked the typical LAD culture of “jovial banter” when recounting the traumatic experience of housemates gluing his Basil and Chives together.

Meeting him

Admitted that he pumped up the Scouse accent for standup. However his passion for food was genuine and he confirmed his disgust for ‘lad banter’. His specialty dish was a homemade gourmet combo involving chicken, Rosti, spinach and goats cheese. you can cook it for us anyday Marc.

8. Charlie Rowley Our Verdict

We were initially rather concerned when the other half of Paddy McGuinness arrived on stage with what we assumed was a protein shake. Thankfully it was green tea. Our kind of guy. Hats off to the lad, it is risky wearing a grey t-shirt at any time let alone when you’re doing stand-up with a bright light shining on you. Also massive respect to him for saying he gets the Maccys in after a night out and spends £46.80 on Big Mac Meals for strangers.

11. David Maguire Our Verdict

An Irish Catholic ballroom dancing champion, who may have said the sentence “put your dong in a rubber sarong” at one point. Seemed over rehearsed and appeared slightly too confident, bordering on arrogance. He left the stage early as his parking ticket was running out. Bizzare/funny.

12. Ed Patrick Our Verdict

Although a clearly funny lad, Ed could have done with speaking up a bit as some of the things got lost in the vast space that is Venue. A cringey anecdote/lie about mistaking sanitary towels for giant plasters reduced everyone to fits of laughter. We can see this guy going far.

And the winner is... 13. Jacob Rawcliffe Our Verdict

Jacob looked like one of those guys you see at the bus station rolling cigarettes he’s never gonna smoke. Being a southerner, he was baffled by seeing a Geordie woman who’s skin looked like it was made out of pastry, outside Greggs. Mocking his own try hard appearance, he ironically described himself as “painfully alternative” which had us in stitches.


7 8

Meeting him

The coordinator and one of the judges, Steve Bennett, told us that what made Jacob’s set stand out from the rest was that he was original, had a welldefined persona and had a good attitude. We can confirm this to be true! He said he was chuffed to win a £150 mobile as he shockingly didn’t own a smartphone. He seemed like the sort of guy who would probably dropped his Samsung Galaxy in his pint. If he wins the competition and the £2,000 prize he said he’d buy a car to travel around and spread his “alternative” humour across the land. A bit too practical we said, so we probed him for a funnier answer, to which he responded: prawn crackers. The worst moment of his life so far was consuming hairy spaghetti hoops, which has permanently traumatized him. We’ve all been there. His worst nightmare would be getting a Cheerio stuck in his throat and not being able to breathe through the whole in the middle. He hates them, even honey coated Cheerios.


Meeting him

Three years of stand up and seemed like a pro in comparison to some of the new boys. Despite enjoying doing take me out with his friend, he preferred doing stand up alone as he is more in control. Drinking green tea out of a protein shake bottle on stage is just his thing. MacDonald’s enthusiasm shone through. Usual order 20 nuggets, wrap meal and a free cheese burger. Kissed us both on each cheek, so clearly a charmer.

9. Mark Allison Our Verdict

Mark covered all the overdone current topics including Jimmy Saville (awkward) and horse meat and then stumbled into forgetting his line. Unluckily for him the notes he’d written on his palm had sweated off with nerves. After some supportive input from the crowd, he recovered well and you can’t knock the lad for trying.

10. Thomas Backhouse Our Verdict

After announcing he was from Northumbria, we instantly judged him, in jest of course. We couldn’t quite work out why he was dressed as a ninja and after making a sexist joke, we were looking at our watches and internally screaming “WRAP IT UP.”


Monday 4 March 2013

The Courier

Lifestyle Editors: Catherine Davison, Ellie Cropper and Ellyn Bramley Online Editors: Rosie Devonshire and Colette Hunter

Top 5:

Overheard ‘Mummy I’m surrounded by poverty’on Northumberland Street

How to: spot a bargain

The Lifestyle writers go in search of the best bargains to be had in town... Best Boots Meal Deal

Worst Boots Meal Deal The worst thing you can do when choosing a meal deal is go for the cheap options. When for just £3.29 you have your choice of what is possibly the widest choice of lunch items on the high street, opting for the cheap things is at best, stupid and at worst, offensive. • Simply Cheese Sandwich £1 • Milky Bar 60p • Still water 65p Total price: £2.25 You pay: £2.25

‘It’s all just too much I just need to get out of Jesmond’ on Osbourne Road

We’ve all been there, stood in the middle of Boots deciding what to choose for the infamous Meal Deal. Whether to go for taste sensation, pure calories, or just plain value for money. Well fear no more, after hours of painstaking research (10 minutes stood in Boots) I have found the perfect Meal Deals. The best value for money option gets you the most for your £3.29: • Triple sandwich (Chicken or assorted) £3.00 • Can of Relentless £1.90 • Treat bag of Maltesers £1.65

‘Thank the lord for real black olives’ in Waitrose

‘You wouldn’t get this kind of service in Waitrose’ in Tesco

Georgie Moule

Total price £6.55 You pay £3.29 Total saving of £3.26 There’s a catch though. After buying said Meal Deal and devouring it, I feel as though I want to throw up. I haven’t ever consumed so many calories in a ‘quick lunch’. The total calorie count for the lunch is just over 1200 calories. That’s just under half the recommended daily intake for men; in terms of calories, this option is definitely good value for money. If you’re after value for money in terms of taste rather than just how stuffed you feel at the end, there are plenty of interesting options. For something a little different I suggest trying one of the pasta boxes, which come in at around £2.80, so you’re still getting pretty good value for money as well as a less bread-heavy alternative to a sandwich. Another interesting selection is the spicy red pepper and mozzarella bake, an appetising looking pastry-based item which comes in a packet. It costs £1.99 but does classify as a main rather than a snack, despite looking like it wouldn’t fill you up much. So next time you’re in Boots, consider this; how much money can you save by getting the Meal Deal? And what would you pick - the one you’re going to enjoy most? Or do you just have a pure calorie fest? James Simpson

Top High Street Bargains

That’s a Barbour jacket, can you please take care of that’ - at CCTV

Crazy offers at Asda, get the Metro down immediately to avoid disappointment Ellie Cropper

The only time it’s acceptable to buy this lunch is when you get to Boots late in the day, and are left with what can only be described as “the crap”. Why anybody would put themselves through this anaemic lunch time offering is beyond me. Everything is the same colour. It just looks ill. Why, for only £1.04 extra you can have a veritable feast of deliciousness, with such as delights as my personal favourite, a Higgidy Spinach, Feta and Roasted Red Pepper Quiche. You can get water from a tap. You can make a better cheese sandwich at home, and quite frankly, anybody who chooses a Milky Bar from the wide selection of snacks available is a moron. The point of this experiment was to try the meal deals, but I couldn’t actually bring myself to purchase this dismal spread. It was less a smorgasbord and more of a smorgas-bored.

This semester’s student loan gone on Giant Fizzy Strawbs

Jesmond Post Office practically giving away Wash & Go Shampoo Sally Priddle, Ellyn Bramley and Tom Nicholson

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Monday 4 March 2013 | @Courier_Life

Blind Date: Poly v Posh Special Liam Ketley, 3rd Year Poly Marketing and Advertising meets Abi Lewis, MA Local & Regional Development

Liam on Abi

Abi on Liam

What’s your usual type? Someone who doesn’t take themselves too seriously. Stylish. Smells like my mum. First impressions? She doesn’t smell like mum. Any funny conversation topics? I told her I wasn’t a student and that I actually drove lorries for a living; she believed me. Also tried to convince her my name was Kevin Sausage; she didn’t believe me. Her hitchhiking to Morocco (I want to do that now) and my escapades in gay bars in Vauxhall (I’m not sure she’ll want to do that now). I’m relatively certain she thinks I’m a gay trucker. Any awkward moments? No, I think you’d have to have the social skills of a rock for there to be any awkward moments. It’s not hard, just talk until the cows come home. I’m good at that, although I do have a tendency for complete nonsense to fall out of my gob. We talked all evening. Actually I did have three bowls of bran flakes during the day so it may have seemed a bit awkward that I was dashing to the toilet every ten minutes. Abi probably thought I was a bit weird. What was her best trait? She had very soft hands. What was her worst trait? She didn’t know any of the decent bars in town; it was fun going round them one by one though. And she likes Coldplay. At any point did you understand why she was single? She likes Coldplay. Were you tempted to lean in for a kiss? Phwoar, and the rest. Would your parents approve? My mum’s convinced I’m gay (can’t imagine why), so she’d be surprised. It’d be nice to prove her wrong about something for a change. Dad wouldn’t think much of Abi at all, or know much about me bringing her home – mostly because he doesn’t live with us. What would your ideal date be? Me and Rashida Jones of Parks & Recreation and The Office (US) fame go for cocktails around London, fall madly in love, get married in Central Park NYC, honeymoon in Thailand, three kids (two girls, one boy) and then we’d settle down in either Brooklyn or Melbourne. Not that I’ve thought about it much. Either that or someone who’ll put out at the end of the night.

What’s your usual type? A sporty, outdoorsy kind of guy with good conversation. First impressions? He could have done with a few extra inches in height because I’m quite tall but I was happy that he was a wine drinker. Any funny conversation topics? He brought up his love of all things girlie including Sex and the City, Desperate Housewives and The Girls before sealing his image of a man. However, an interesting anecdote was that his mum dated Wolf from Gladiators back in the day. Any awkward moments? He went to the toilet SO many times. What was his best trait? His fashion sense – I love guys who dress like my granddad. What was his worst trait? He’s Poly. Enough said. At any point did you understand why he was single? He tries perhaps a little too hard to be funny and maybe the feminine side comes out a little too much? Were you tempted to lean in for a kiss? Perhaps, but isn’t it rude to kiss and tell? Would your parents approve? They’d firstly say-Is he a man or a mouse? My brother’s in the Army and my dad’s a farmer so they might have little in common. How did the date end? We exchanged numbers but the pressure of Postgrad life means I’m a pretty busy bee. What would your ideal date be? Something sporty and outdoors, biking or walking but a bar crawl is always a good alternative. Marks out of 10? 5.5

How did the date end? We exchanged numbers but I’m very busy driving lorries at the moment so I’m not sure when we’ll next have the chance to meet up again. Marks out of 10? 6.5

Unlucky in love? The Courier is here to help! Send your details to

Evie O’Sullivan

University Challenges

#2 - Mid-term Drought

So, speaking of my so called lack of coordination, I feel I may have perhaps jinxed myself a little in my last article. After five days spent in the R.V.I, an operation, and a mind twirling amount of morphine, I can now confirm that playing drunken dizzy dollies on a night out is not ok, morphine is not all it’s cracked out to be, and a broken wrist is not fun in the slightest. But surely it can’t just be my housebound little self who is feeling the mid-term drought, and I’m sure all of you out there have had your fair share of waking up in more unfamiliar surroundings than the city hospital. Postnight out confusion anyone? So we can all agree, being halfway through the semester, that things are starting to taste a little bit sour. Not only has the elation of binge drinking ebbed away yet again and left a bitter taste in your mouth, but the dirty dishes have now started to pile up, uni funds are at an all-time low, and why oh why are the walls in student houses so damn thin? Not to mention mid-term assignments and essays in the loom... But don’t panic, it isn’t all so bad, and there are plenty of things you can do to cheer your little self up. So why not begin with a little bit of commitment and discipline - and no I don’t mean you have to try and make every nine o’clock lecture, but surely you can set a little time aside for taking out the over flowing bins, throwing the pizza boxes away, and maybe venturing out to the Newcroft centre for that special test which you have put off for all too long now. I promise they won’t bite. Try and beat the lull by taking time out for recovery. Start by simmering down on the trebles and the tales of fabrication which come with your drunkenness, and take a few nights to chill out, rest up, and crack on with all the work that has piled up over these past few weeks. Or if you’re feeling really productive, make some time to catch-up with friends you haven’t seen in a while, have a cheeky trip to the beach for fish and chips, or get back in the gym and burn off some of the Valentine’s Day choco which we all know you’re still gorging on. Because, let’s face it, this snow isn’t going to help perk you up. But, if it’s not broken bones that are making you go a little M.I.A. at the moment, then I say get back on that horse and get out there. I can’t say that I am particularly against my own little midterm drought at the moment, but if unlike me you can’t handle the calm, then put on you nikey’s, beanie hat, and denim jacket, and get back out there with everyone else. After all, there are always worse places you could be feeling the mid-term drought than in the Toon.

Monday 4 March 2013

The Courier | @courier_life

BNOC knock...

Who’s there? Ojay, Northumberland Street bassist The Unmastered Art of Baking Classic Victoria Sponge This week, I show you how to make the classic Victoria Sponge, the most traditional and well loved of all cakes. Victoria Sponge is a lovely light vanilla sponge filled with glorious buttercream and strawberry jam. It’s the sort of cake perfect for when you have a few friends around for tea – simple and quick to bake! Use this recipe alongside my video, which you can find by visiting and I’ll take you step by step to making this classic cake. I’m using the weight proportional method whereby you match the weight of your sugar, flour and butter to the combined weight of your eggs. In my case 4 eggs weigh 240g. Ingredients: For the sponge: 4 eggs 240g plain flour 240g butter 240g sugar 150ml milk 1tsp baking powder 1tsp vanilla essence or vanilla bean paste For the filling: Strawberry jam 250g icing sugar 80g butter 25ml milk Method: 1. Preheat your oven to 190 degrees and thoroughly grease two 8 inch cake tins 2. In a large mixing bowl cream the butter and sugar together, using an electric hand mixer if you have one, until light in colour and fluffy 3. Break the eggs into the creamed mixture one at a time, and mix in by hand to prevent curdling 4. Sift in the dry ingredients (flour and baking powder) a little at a time, and mix until thoroughly combined 5. Once all of the ingredients have come together, add the milk, a little at a time, on a low level of the hand mixer, until it is all incorporated 6. Add your vanilla essence or vanilla bean paste and stir in 7. Now that your cake batter is complete, split it evenly between the two cake tins, and pop them both into the oven for about 25 minutes, or until it has come away from the sides a little. When poked with a knife, the knife should be clear when removed 8. Transfer the cakes onto a cooling rack and prepare the icing 9. Sift the icing sugar into a large mixing bowl, and cream together with the butter, by hand at first, and then move onto the electric hand mixture once most of the icing sugar is incorporated. This is important as the icing sugar has a tendency to puff out of the bowl 10. When your butter and sugar mixture has come together, add the milk and mix in thoroughly with the hand mixer, until it has thickened slightly, and is light and fluffy. 11. Once your cakes have cooled, spread an even layer of strawberry (or raspberry) jam onto the bottom cake 12. Top this with a lovely thick layer of the luscious buttercream 13. Sandwich on the other cake, dust with a sifting of icing sugar, and you’re ready to go! Fran Ede

Anyone who hasn’t spotted the notorious bassist known as Ojay on a wander down Northumberland Street has probably been walking round with a paper bag over their head. Stephen Oliver Jones’ addictive slap bass funk, impressive use of loop pedals and obvious love of his music has won him hundreds of fans around Newcastle, many of whom follow him on his unofficial Facebook page. I grab him for a quick interview, but he can’t resist finishing the song first; ‘I might be a while though’, he warns me. Tell us about how you first got in to bass. I started playing over 25 years ago now, when I was in my late teens. My friend played guitar and we didn’t need two guitarists, so I learnt to play bass instead. Do you ever wonder what would have happened if you’d learnt guitar instead? No, I’m glad decided to learn the bass! You can do so much more with a bass guitar – and you can play guitar riffs on it anyway. He picks up his bass and air strums it, as though demonstrating its versatility. I also sing sometimes, and I play the harmonica a little. Emphasis on a little! He laughs.

Restaurant Review Blue Moon Chinese

Before even arriving at Blue Moon Chinese, our taxi driver told us how good the restaurant was. From the outside, it was pretty unassuming, so despite the recommendation, we weren’t sure what to expect. We arrived a little late (time keeping is not my strongest point), but were met with beaming smiles. Waiting by the front door was the manager as well as the director, Kevin, who was extremely welcoming and treated us like celebrities. We were promptly ushered to our table, and told that the chef had specially prepared food for us. I’ve never felt so important. Kevin immediately took our drink orders, swiftly followed by producing a plate of prawn crackers.

Did your love of bass naturally suggest a career in busking for you then? I didn’t actually start busking until I moved to Newcastle from Manchester about 15 years ago. I didn’t have time to settle down, find a job and make new friends as I needed the money straight away, so to start with busking was a necessity. What’s the expression – he casts around in the air and eventually draws upon a Plato quote - “necessity is the mother of invention”. That could definitely be applied to my first few years busking. Do you have any favourite songs or artists who inspire you? Ah, so many inspirations! James Brown, all of the classics… He grins cheekily; Johann Sebastian Bach was pretty good I guess. My main inspiration would have to be Jimi Hendrix though, even though he wasn’t a bassist, because I admire his spirit. You’ve been busking for 15 years; you must have some pretty interesting stories! Any crazy anecdotes you can share with us?! Nothing appropriate! But people like to make up stories about me. Someone set up a Facebook group for me – I really appreciate that someone did that, it’s such a lovely gesture. One guy posted on the group that he’d seen a stranger come up and hit me on the head, and in retaliation I had chased the guy down and punched him – that definitely never happened! What’s the weirdest thing anyone’s ever given you while busking? Nothing weird, really, just boring. I was once given

a children’s toy, one of those Happy Meal things, an Ewok [from the Star Wars McDonald’s series a few years ago]. It turned out to be one of the best things I’ve ever been given though, because when I got home I gave it to my son. He loved it, and it became a bit of a sentimental thing between us; he was devastated when he lost it and I had to buy him a new one. Last question; if you could play bass anywhere in the world, where would it be? I’d like to travel around the world, earning just enough money through busking to move on to the next place. I’ve travelled before but in band, touring round Europe, America, Australia and Brazil. But I’d love the independence of being able to play my own thing on a world tour, just playing bass. I wish him the best of luck. You can find more of Ojay on his Facebook page; or better yet, catch him playing along Northumberland Street.

Catherine Davison

Opening times: Sat - Tues: midday - 2am Wed - Fri: midday - 11.30pm 35 George Street NE4 7JN 0191 2727018

Whilst snacking on crackers (who doesn’t like crackers?!) we had a chance to take in the atmosphere. The interior was painted a light purple, with soft lighting. The overall effect was relaxing. Large groups of families filled one side of the room, and we thought that going in a big group would be really fun. Kevin, our new bezzie, sat down to have a chat and tell us a little more about the restaurant. He was keen to explain that the restaurant focused on traditional Chinese food. He also told us that the restaurant was family-run and fairly new, but had received good reviews on TripAdvisor (no pressure then).

“the honey glazed ribs [...] were ludicrously tender and tasty” Our first course was chicken and sweet corn soup. It was delicious, but because we weren’t quite sure how many courses the chef had prepared for us, we decided to pace ourselves and held back on eating too much. Next, we were given appetisers of honey glazed spare ribs. These were amazing, and one of my standout favourites of the night. They were ludicrously tender and tasty. After a brief pause, our main course arrived. It was an impressive array of sizzling beef in Cantonese sauce, deep fried squid with chillies, a platter of roast duck, roast pork and cuttlefish, and eggfried rice. My friend, as the more knowledgeable connoisseur of Chinese food, pointed out that the food wasn’t greasy like the take away stuff you can get; it felt healthy not fatty. As a testament to how good the food was, we continued to eat despite being ridiculously full. An unexpected addition were the orange slices given to us at the end of the meal. But they worked so well, and were a refreshing treat. Finally, we were given Chinese tea. A perfect end to what was an excellent meal. Once we had finished, we were given a tour of the restaurant! It turns out that upstairs has private karaoke rooms available to hire. Each room is soundproof enabling parties to sing as loud as they want without embarrassment, which is always a good thing in my book. Every effort was made to ensure that we had a good time. The food was amazing. If you want a good Chinese, this is your place. We’d definitely recommend it. The only slight downside is the location; it’s not somewhere you would wander past and pop in on a whim. It’s easily reached by taxi though, and Kevin even ordered a return taxi for us. Georgina Grant

The Courier


Monday 4 March 2013

Lifestyle Editors: Catherine Davison, Ellie Cropper and Ellyn Bramley Online Editors: Rosie Devonshire and Colette Hunter

Travelling the Unknown: Image: Flickr (photosteve101)

weekend trips on a budget

#3 - Amsterdam With its numerous tunnels surrounded by romantic houses and the proliferation of coffee shops everywhere – always full of people – Amsterdam is the type of bustling cheery city whose energetic vibe is infectious to its visitors. The streets are full of young people giving the city a youthful air it wears well despite its century long history.

air market where people sell their attic treasures and you can find yourself the bargain of your life. Both tourists and locals flock to the streets to sing and dance. The festivities will be hard to forget. Tip for Amsterdam: You want to visit in March? Do not hesitate – Amsterdam Restaurant week will

The charming buildings that surround the tunnels are a complex mixture of Dutch Renaissance, Baroque, Neo-gothic, Art Nouveau, Art Deco and the locally developed Amsterdamse style. The myriad will enchant the eye of every architectural connoisseur, but even if you are far from an expert, I guarantee you will enjoy the view. What is more beautiful than the wonderful city under the sun’s rays you ask? Wonder no more, the answer is simple – Amsterdam at night, when the views are simply magnificent. You can enjoy a guided (or not if you prefer it that way) boat walk along the tunnels any time between early morning and late evening. The experiences are so pleasant and different it is well worth it trying both. In your seeking of the unique to the city locations, I recommend to start with the flower market. It is a great experience of a busy place filled with breathtaking aromas, gorgeous flowers and expert trading. You will thank me for going. In case you are more of a classical tourist or the artsy type there can be no question asked – you must visit ‘Rijksmuseum’ that prides itself on having displayed 400 masterpieces, including Rembrandt’s ‘Night Watch’ and Vermeer’s ‘Woman Reading a Letter’ and the ‘Van Gogh Museum’ where you can see for yourself the world-famous ‘Sunflowers’ among other renowned paintings. If you are in to history you could go to the ‘Anne Frank Huis’ where Anne Frank and her family hid for two years while she wrote her famous diary. History was literary made there. A good idea if you happen to visit at the end of April is to go to Jordaan, Rembrandtplein and the centre on the 29th when the celebrations start in honor of Koninginnedag (Queen’s Day) which is officially on the 30th. There are street parties, late –night drinking sessions in cafés and a huge open-

Hottie of the Week Wei, 26

Interviewed by Lidan Deng

Degree: Computer game engineer Single/Taken: Single What kind of girl are you looking for? I guess a good personality should suffice. What’s your worst ever dating experience? I was introduced to a girl and we went to an Italian restaurant in town. She was seriously late. I sat waiting for her with 3 bottles of diet coke for about an hour. I came back from the toilet to find that she was eating my pizza! What would be your ideal date? Being with somebody who is easy to talk to in a quiet environment and being romantic. But I’m happy just online dating.

make sure you feel you visited at just the right moment. This is probably your only chance to enjoy a three-course gourmet meal for only 25 euros. Just remember to make a reservation well before the date – the food may not be fast, but tables sure get booked up very swiftly. Evgeniya Boykova

With Maisy Gray 7:30AM The alarm on my phone is blaring again. I think that it knows that I don’t want to get up today. I’d purposely chose the most irritating sound I could find, nevertheless I think I’m going back to sleep. Although I think my housemate, Kate, has other ideas as she comes banging on my door. She can probably hear every vibration through the floor over her head. It would seem I’m destined to make this 9am lecture. 8AM I long for the days back in halls where I could roll out of bed and be in Uni for 9. However this is not the case. I’ll have to hurry or soon I’ll have to make the decision on walking or catching the illusive number 1. Some would say it’s a thing of legends, others say it’s just useless. Right now I’m not sure. But as I sprint down the bottom of my street, it’s there waiting for me. Success.

Image: Flickr (Joao Maximo)

Trending Topics of the week #HarlemShake The next worst thing since Psy’s Gangnam Style. This dance has gone viral in a short space of time, and as you would expect, it has all the celebs at it. Yes – even Gandalf. # BRITs2013 It’s awards season and now Britain gets its chance to shine against all the glitz and glamour in America. There were plenty of people tweeting about wardrobe choices to that inevitable reunion of the recently split couple: Harry Styles and Taylor Swift… #GoogleGlass Google are continuing to promote their eagerly anticipated smart glasses through the twitter hashtag #ifihadaglass where the public can suggest ways that they would make use of these cool new frames. #PlaystationMemories Twitter takes us back to the days of our childhood, where tweeters reminisce on their favourite old games. Anyone remember Spyro? Or better yet, those cheats we all remembered too well on Grand Theft Auto… #AskTheWanted With the world going boy-band mad right now, it seems that The Wanted have given their ‘lucky’ fans the chance to pose them some questions. Lauren Windas

1PM After a whole week of surviving, mainly thanks to my favourite take-aways along Chillingham Road, I decide that it’s probably time to overcome one of life’s greatest fears: the dreaded food shop. Somehow I’ve managed without ever daring to step foot in anything other than the mini Tesco’s for a whole term. I swear to myself that by the end of the day my cupboards will no longer be empty. But not right now. If I’m going to be seen out in public I should probably definitely make myself look a little more presentable. 3PM

Okay, so I got a little distracted on the internet. I’m sorry but that video of that little dog is clearly the most important thing right now. Kate’s still angry with me, so I don’t think I’ve got a hope in hell of asking her for help. Whoops. I must remind myself to buy her some chocolate or something to distract her from this morning. I haven’t written a shopping list so I’m just going to wing it. Morrison’s here I come. 4PM I’ve somehow managed to spend about an hour in a supermarket. It’s actually started getting dark outside. Food shopping is stressful. I don’t know how my friends manage to do this every week! I’ve also managed to go over budget. Well, the ice-cream and magazines were absolutely necessary. As I pack all of my items into the flimsy carrier bags I wonder how I’m going to carry it all. I get out the door and head back through the car park when low and behold, the bag rips. As I cringe and hurry to scoop up my Morrison’s own brand pasta sauce, some good looking lads stop and help. I wish the ground would swallow me up. I swear next time I’m doing my shopping online. Heather Alexanders Illustrations: Daisy Billowes


Monday 4 March 2013

The Courier

Listings Editor: Sally Priddle


Diversity Day

12-4am and 7-9pm Venue, Students’ Union Exhibition by Faith and National Societies (12-4pm)

It’s a celebration of our diverse cultures and religions with presentations (including art, music, dance, games, videos etc.) from different societies at the Newcastle University Students’ Union.

Buffet of International Cuisine (7pm)

Come and have a taste of food from around the world. All proceeds go to Charity (SCAN) Tickets £3 available from either the Racial Equality Officer, International Students Officer and Societies’ Executives


Justin Moorhouse : Justin Time 7.30pm The Stand Comedy Club

Ballet’s very grandes dames are back returning with a fantastic programme, a lorry load of costume changes and lashings of diva attitude. With one foot in farce and the other in classical ballet, this is one hilarious night out not to bemissed! One thing’s guaranteed: parody or pirouette, the Trocks will knock your socks off with their bravura mix of fun and fancy footwork. Tickets from £12 available from The Stand’s box office and website.

Go Global: Board Game Night

Verity’s Summer Plus Director Q&A

Bored? Don’t be! Get out of the house and come to our board game night, featuring classics Cluedo and new favourites like Creationary! For more information about Go Global, check out:

Award-winning director Ben Crowe’s debut feature about the effects that recent wars have had in the UK comes to the Tyneside on the 10th anniversary of the invasion of Iraq. On a hot summer’s day two people make their way to a quiet town on the wild Northumberland coast. sixteen year-old Verity is coming home from school and ex-soldier castle is drifting. Their paths never cross, but their lives become intertwined. When a body washes up on the coastline, Verity’s father is tasked to lead the police investigation and Verity must confront her father’s secrets surrounding his time in Iraq… Palme d’or nominated director Ben crowe will be attending the premiere of his film and will take part in a special Q&A and talk about the making of his film. Tickets available from Tyneside Cinema’s box office and website.

7pm History Room, Students’ Union

Steffin Peddie

7.30pm The Stand Comedy Club

It’s a chat show, live with no cameras and no censor. What do we discuss? Who knows! Your host Steffen Peddie will welcome you to pull up a chair and listen to the backstage chat that the audience do not get to hear. Tickets £3 available from The Stand

Abigail’s Party 7.30pm, 4-9 March Theatre Royal

After a triumphant West End run, Lindsay Posner’s acclaimed revival of one of the most popular plays ever written is touring the UK. Donna Summer is playing on the stereo. Dishes of cheese and pineapple are on the coffee table... the social get-together from hell is about to begin. Beverly, and estate agent husband Laurence, have invited round new neighbours, Tony and Ange and nervous divorcee Sue, twitchy about the party her fifteen year old daughter, Abigail, is throwing over the road. As Beverly plies the guests with alcohol, cigarettes, Demis Roussos and nibbles, this horribly compelling evening descends into drunkenness and debauchery. Comedy, drama and tragedy combine into an iconic piece of theatre. Tickets £9 available from Theatre Royal’s box office and website.

3.10pm & 6pm Tyneside Cinema

Wednesday Give It A Go: Go Karting

5.30pm History Room, Students’ Union

The Comedy Society is inviting you to attend an improvisation workshop welcoming you to the world of comedy. The society will teach you to work from set games and premises while taking the content from the audience and working with certain suggestions to get the laughter flowing. Your sides will be splitting and your cheeks aching after this afternoon of fun. Tickets available from the Students’ Union Activities Corridor with £1 deposit.


6-8, 8pm Northern Stage

Iran. 1921. A time of impending revolution. Three siblings take flight. An enchanting new fairy-take about migration and self-discovery; inspired by The Conference of the Birds and Arab Uprisings of 2011. Visually spell-binding, this heart-warming adventure is full of magic and wonder - told with music, circus and physical theatre. Tickets £14.50 available from Northern Stage’s box office or website.

Thursday Flock

7 & 23 March, 8pm Northern Stage

Our ever popular scratch night is back. See brand new work from local theatre makers and share your thoughts afterwards. We’re always looking for new ideas so if you’ve got something you want to try out, check our our website. The five acts confirmed so far: One by Jaye Kearney Jaye is going it alone for the first time. It’s fine, she’s an independent, modern woman! But she can’t do this alone. She really needs you. One is about being alone but not being lonely. 25 by Alice Blundell This is a show about roots, about growing up, about being 25 and faced with unemployment, high expectations and a lost politic. Using live music, a phone call and a live feed camera, 25 will make you laugh, be moved and cause you to think. A Dog’s Heart by Gordon Duffy-McGhie A freakish Frankenstein-like human/ animal is loose on the streets of Moscow, intent on making everyone’s life a living nightmare. Based on Mikhail Bulgakov’s classic tale, A Dog’s Heart is a wonderfully absurd and fiercely comic slice of genetic modification. The Story of a Waiting Man by Jonathan Coleman There is a man. Waiting. In his waiting place this man sits and contemplates and does things that amount to very little. The Story of a Waiting Man is a poignant musing on waiting, time and loneliness.

Richard Herring 7.30pm Northern Stage

It’s an object of shame and pride; it inspires laughter and fear; it’s a symbol of power, yet it’s incredibly fragile; it can be a pound of flesh or an ounce of winkles; it can be used to express both love and hate; it creates life, it can condemn us to death... and it can do wees as well. How can one tiny flap of sponge and sinew be all these things? Tickets from £15 available from Northern Stage’s website or box office

Think Tank by Bandicoot Theatre Company Think Tank wants to know you inside-out, but we only have 30 seconds to do it. This show is created completely by our audience, so without you this highly interactive and thought-provoking multimedia piece won’t happen! Tickets £4.50 available from Northern Stage’s box office or website.

Daniel Bye Live Theatre

Festival of Arts and Music 7.30pm Northern Stage

Come along to an extravaganza of cultural performances from NUSU societies at Northern Stage, showcasing some of the University’s best talent. Whether music or dance is your thing, there’s sure to be some talent here to truly capture your imagination. Tickets £6 from Northern Stage.

NE-YO with Tulisa & Conor Maynard 7pm MetroRadio Arena Turn around and face the music. Tickets £36 available from MetroRadio Arena’s box office or website.

Daniel directed and performed in London 2012: Glasgow (a raucous satire on the marketing machine behind the Olympics) by Kieran Hurley as part of Theatre Uncut in November 2012. He is currently touring his solo show ‘The Price of Everything’, which was also performed at Northern Stage’s St Stephen’s venue at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2012. His new show How To Occupy An Oil Rig will open in Edinburgh in August before embarking on a national tour. Daniel has written and directed for Pilot Theatre, Box Clever Theatre, Red Ladder Theatre Company, West Yorkshire Playhouse and Silver Tongue Theatre. He is also an associate artist of ARC, Stockton-on-Tees.



Photography: Michael Oakes, Ralph Blackburn, NWRC, NURL, Hubert Lam, Sam Tyson, NSWPC, Moises Bedroissian


Monday 4 March 2013

The Courier

STAN CALVERT 2013 RUGBY UNION The showpiece event of the Stan Calvert comes at 7.30pm on the Sunday night, where a large number of slightly inebriated Newcastle and Northumbria students (and streakers) will descend on Kingston Park to see the men’s rugby union 1sts. Newcastle will be hoping that the Stan Calvert Cup does not depend on this match as Northumbria are likely favourites. In the ‘Clash of the Titans’ meeting earlier in the year, in a game billed as being fairly close, Northumbria came out on top easily, winning 33-18 including running in 5 tries for a bonus point. Newcastle’s season has been horribly inconsistent. Hampered by injuries, a key issue has been no consistency in the line up in the half back roles. Lewis Crosbie and Jonny Burn, worked together well in the early part of the season, however when full back Jonny Patterson picked up a seasonending injury, Crosbie moved to full back, with Burn moving to his regular


position of half back. Jack Cook, who came in from the 2nds simply hasn’t looked up to the task, kicking far to much, unable to unleash Newcastle’s potent backline. If the 1sts want to stand a chance of picking up the win, they’re going to have to keep the ball out of the forwards as much as possible. Wins are looking far more likely in the 2nds and 3rds, with the 2nds resoundingly beating the Poly earlier in the season. Alex Potts in the centres has made tries all season with excellent running lines, and is likely to be fully pumped up against Northumbria. Captain Richard Skowernyk has been imperious in the loose throughout the season, and it seems unlucky the Poly will putt off an upset. Team Newcastle will be hoping for the 3rds and 2nds to get wins if they want to retain the Stan Calvert Cup. Ralph Blackburn

Killingworth Gaelic Football - 10/3/13 Directions: Buses 62/63

Town Moor

There was much disquiet over Northumbria’s proposed move of much of the sports from Gateshead, which lead to Women’s Basketball and Badminton stating they would boycott the event. This dispute was sadly resolved by Gateshead announcing that a large amount of fixtures wouldn’t be able to


Cochrane Park

Rugby Union M II - 10/3/13 Rugby Union M III - 10/3/13

Lacrosse W - 10/3/13 Rugby Union W - 10/3/13

Directions: Walk down Jesmond Rd and across Benton Bank

Directions: 305/306/307/308 Buses from Haymarket

Cross Country M - 9/3/13 Cross Country W - 9/3/13 Directions: Metro to Kingston Park

Matfen Hall Golf I - 10/3/13

ROWING As the Boat Club heads into what is promising to be our most successful season yet, they wait in anticipation of the Stan Calvert races, which are taking place this Wednesday 6 March. Last year, Newcastle asserted dominance by winning every single race, with Northumbria’s proudest moment coming when their women’s championship quad closed to within two boat lengths of Newcastle at the line. This year we have an even stronger, fitter and more experienced squad from which to draw our crews. The boats that will race are a men’s single and quad, and women’s lightweight single and lightweight quad, a rather peculiar selection (we should point out that Northumbria have chosen these categories, refusing to race any of our top crews, e.g. the Henleywinning Women’s 1st VIII, or Men’s 1st VIII containing a smattering of international medallists). Northumbria’s recent successes in rowing include their lightweight women’s quad who won a gold medal at BUCS Head last weekend, a competition in which NUBC won four gold medals and topped the BUCS points table, adding 130-odd points to the University’s overall total. We have yet to see any of their other crews out on the water. The men’s squad has recruited some talented rowers over the summer, including James Rudkin and Ed Munno, who both began Newcastle in September fresh from representing GB at international level. Returning big names include Tim Clarke and Alex Leigh, half of the 2012 Henley Royal Regatta crew that were defeated by a matter of feet in the final, possibly the most exciting race in the history of University rowing. Tim and training partner (and National Champion) Tom Ford were the fastest U23 crew

The pinnacle of Team Newcastle’s season is nearly upon us again, in the most fiercely contested varsity match up across the country, The Stan Calvert Cup.

This year’s duel comes awash with controversy and their was even speculation that the event may not go ahead altogether. Following Newcastle’s record breaking fifth consecutive win last year, it appears the claws between the two Universities are sharper than ever.

Directions: No Public transport, so a lift or taxi. in the country at the recent GB Trials, and they have just returned from attending an invitation-only weekend of training at Caversham, home of the GB Senior Squad. The senior men also contains the current men’s captain, Nick Buckle, who, along with partner Matt Smith, represented Great Britain at the Home Countries Regatta this summer. He is famous in boat clubs around the country for leading the Newcastle Temple Challenge Cup VIII to lead Harvard’s top crew off the start at last year’s Henley Royal Regatta. The women’s squad also has its own smattering of rising stars, including Nicole Lamb, who is still sporting the tan she attained whilst spending two weeks in Australia, representing Great Britain at the Australian Youth Olympics and winning a medal of each colour. Another one to watch is Gemma Hall, who recently posted the fastest U23 women’s lightweight time at the Spring GB Trials, coming 4th overall out of all the lightweight women in the country. NUBC’s world-class women’s lightweight squad which will race Northumbria also contains Rachel Webb and Sarah Fabes, Women’s Henley finalists in 2011 who won a silver medal in the pair at BUCS Regatta last year, and, along with Rosie Rust and recent recruit Natalie Hardy, won a silver medal in the lightweight IV at BUCS Head last weekend. The races will take place at 2pm on Wednesday 6 March on the Tyne at Newburn, where the Newcastle University Boat Club is situated. Refreshments will be offered for all those who wish to see an afternoon of complete dominance for NUBC, without us even breaking a sweat. Good luck Northumbria. Sally Hickey

Kingston Park


Rugby Union M I - 10/3/13 Rugby League M I - 10/3/13 Directions: Metro to Kingston Park

Steve Smith Centre Clay Pigeon - 10/3/13 Directions: No Public transport, so a lift or taxi.


Bullocksteads Rugby League M II - 10/3/13 Directions: Metro to Bankfoot

South North CC Cricket M I - 6/3/13 Cricket M II - 6/3/13 Cricket W - 7/3/13 Directions: Metro to South Gosforth

Close House Golf II - 10/3/13

Directions: Taxi or Lift



Rowing - 6/3/13

Lacrosse M - 10/3/13

Directions: Taxi or Lift

Directions: 306/308 Buses

The Courier


Monday 4 March 2013

THE PREVIEW be played there due to poor quality of pitches and facilities meaning for the fresher wanting to go see the football, netball, rugby union and league, they have to dash around Newcastle probably after purchasing a day saver. Kingston Park will undoubtedly provide better facilities than GIS, and the

NU Longbenton

two rugby events should be spectacular. This Stan Calvert is set to be one of the closest ever, with the gap narrowing between Northumbria and Newcastle on a variety of sports, as well as certain sports which the Posh would likely win such as cycling, being taken

UNN Coach Lane

Football M I - 10/3/13 Football M II - 10/3/13 Football M III - 10/3/13 Hockey M I - 10/3/13 Hockey M II - 10/3/13 Hockey M III - 10/3/13

Football W I - 4/3/13 Football W II - 10/3/13 Hockey W I - 10/3/13 Hockey W II - 10/3/13 Hockey W III - 10/3/13

Directions: Metro to Four Lane Ends

Directions: Metro to Four Lane Ends

out. In the end, however it would be hard to bet on Northumbria walking away with victory. Team Newcastle have made winning a habit, and it seems likely they’ll break records again. Ralph Blackburn

NU Sports Centre Fencing M I - 10/3/13 Fencing W I - 10/3/13 Netball I - 10/3/13 Netball II - 10/3/13 Netball III - 10/3/13 Netball IV - 10/3/13 Squash M I - 10/3/13 Squash M II - 10/3/13 Suash M III - 10/3/13 Squash W I - 10/3/13 Squash W II - 10/3/13

Directions: Next to Ricky Road

Longbenton Gosforth

Jesmond Heaton

UNN Sports Central Basketball M I - 8/3/13 Basketball M II - 10/3/13 Basketball M III - 10/3/13 Futsal M - 3/3/13 Futsal W - 7/3/13 Squash W I - 10/3/13 Squash W II - 10/3/13 Swimming M - 10/3/13 Swimming W - 10/3/13 Table Tennis M I - 10/3/13 Table Tennis M II - 10/3/13 Table Tennis W I - 10/3/13 Volleyball M - 7/3/13 Volleyball W - 7/3/13 Waterpolo M - 3/3/13 Waterpolo W - 3/3/13 Directions: Metro to Haymarket


Gateshead Int Athletics - 10/3/13 Badminton M I - 10/3/13 Badminton M II - 10/3/13 Badminton W - 10/3/13 Basketball W I - 10/3/13 Basketball W II - 10/3/13


NU Virgin Active Tennis W I - 10/3/13 Directions: Taxi or Lift

Directions: Metro to Gateshead International Stadium

Silksworth Skiing - 5/3/13 Directions: In Sunderland No Public transport, so a lift or taxi.


Tennis M I - 10/3/13 Tennis M II - 10/3/13

Directions: Lift or Taxi

FOOTBALL Newcastle men’s football 1st XI will enter into their Stan Calvert clash against Northumbria as significant underdogs, having had a relatively uninspiring 2012/13 BUCS campaign. The side sit second bottom of the Northern 1A Division, resigned to relegation as a result of being five points adrift of safety with only one game left to play. Mark Woodhall’s men have undoubtedly been hit hard by the loss of a number of key players that were evidently crucial to the 2011/12 season. It would appear the failure to find effective replacements for departed players Ed Savitt and Dan Clements has resulted in the Royals finding goals hard to come by. Meanwhile Northumbria’s first team have also had a frustrating season. Whilst they have given a good account of themselves in the BUCS Premier North in the accumulating of a respectable points total, they too have ultimately succumbed to the threat of relegation and will already be mentally preparing themselves for life in the division below next season. Nevertheless, it is they who will enter into the Stan Calvert clash optimistic of securing the points for their University, undoubtedly buoyed by their 4-3 win in last year’s fixture. In spite of this, the Royals should not be written off completely. In the directness of Ben Wheeler, the artistry of Jonny Sexton and the sheer tirelessness of Tom Stapleton, Newcastle are not without causes for optimism that give their loyal Ultras hope of springing an upset. What-

ever the result, there is sure to be a fiery atmosphere at Longbenton 3G on match day, with Northumbria Police allegedly beginning their crowd control preparations months ago, as a way of ensuring that any trouble both in and outside the ground can be avoided. In contrast, Newcastle’s second team can enter into their Stan Calvert clash with slightly more reason for optimism. In spite of a recent shock 4-3 defeat to their own third team, the twos currently sit third in the BUCS Northern Division 4B still with a slim chance of securing promotion to the fourth tier’s top flight. Their Northumbria counterparts, meanwhile, look set for another season two divisions below their city rival. As such, Ed Holden’s men will undoubtedly enter into the contest confident of securing a victory. The battle between the two third teams may well just be the pick of the ties, as the all-BUCS Northern 4B affair is set to be an enthralling contest. The sides have already met twice this season, with each outfit picking up a win apiece. Whilst Newcastle’s threes are currently find themselves in the midst of a relegation dogfight, there have been glimpses this season of the kind of football they are capable of producing. They will be in dire need of having their top marksmen Chris Fraser and Joe Babos fit and firing if they are to have a chance of getting a result on the day. Nick Gabriel

NETBALL This has been one of the best seasons for NUNC; with the 1sts finishing 3rd in the Northern Premiership, the 4ths being promoted with two games left to play, and the 2nds and 3rds fighting for promotion. With the 2nds in the final of the conference cup, it’s safe to say this season has been successful. With Stan Calvert on the horizon, training has upped and everyone is putting in all their effort to beat the Poly. Even though Northumbria has a Super League team, Newcastle gives a good fight every year and are hoping this year will be a clean sweep. The 1sts are in the division above Northumbria 1sts, and this season, having beaten Leeds Met 1sts, fighting hard against Loughborough 1sts and drawing Bath 1sts in the cup, Newcastle are more than prepared. The girls will be going out strong, putting their all into every minute of the game. This game is the last ever NUNC match for Rachel Saville, WD for the 1st team for five solid years. Her efforts to not finish on a loss will be more than enough to secure the win. The 2nds have had their most successful season in a long time, en route to promotion to Northern 1B and in the final of the conference cup. North-

umbria 2nds and Northumbria 1sts are in the same BUCS league, above the 2nds. Undaunted, within a space of eight days NUNC 2nds have the ability to win the league, the cup, and Stan Calvert, and they are confident they will do it. Newcastle 3rds have had an outstanding season, but have not drawn Northumbria 3rds yet due to Northumbria being in the league below. Our 3rds are in a tight fight for promotion, and succeeded this season in beating a team the division above and getting to the semi finals of the Conference Cup where Newcastle 2nds and 3rds faced off. With a team crammed full of 3rd and 4th years, this is the last game for a lot of players, and will go out fighting. Our 4ths have been practically unbeatable this season, having already won against Northumbria 4ths by a long way in the BUCS league. It’s on the cards for another win on 10 March. This is a strong team of mostly freshers who have proven their skill and ability already this season, and will continue to do so when they win Stan Calvert. Sophie Haslam

4.StanCalvertPreview PREDICTIONS “I honestly believe this year is going to be so close. Obviously we are the reigning champions, however if we are complacent in any way, shape or form, we will lose. If we play like Women’s Hockey did against Northumbria last Wednesday we will lose. I however, have no doubt that everyone will be giving their all.”



“I think it is going to be very close, the closest Stan Calvert in a long time, however I know how passionate our students are about Stan Calvert and I am confident Newcastle can pull it out the bag”


Monday 4 March 2013






The Courier

Last Year

Sport Central Sport Central Sport Central

5.00pm 7.30pm 8.30pm

Northumbria Newcastle Newcastle

New fixture Newcastle Newcastle

Coach Lane




Silksworth Ski Slope




South North CC South North CC Newburn Newburn Newburn Newburn

12.30pm 11.00am 1.45pm 2.10pm 2.30pm 3.00pm

Newcastle Newcastle Newcastle Newcastle Newcastle Newcastle

Newcastle Newcastle Newcastle Newcastle Newcastle Newcastle

Cricket W 1 Volleyball M Volleyball W

South North CC Sport Central Sport Central

8.30pm 8.00pm 8.30pm

Northumbria Northumbria Northumbria

Newcastle Northumbria Northumbria

Basketball M 1 Hockey M 1 Hockey M 2 Hockey M 3 Hockey W 1 Hockey M 2 Hockey M 3

Sport Central Longbenton Longbenton Longbenton Coach Lane Coach Lane Coach Lane

5.00pm 7.00pm 8.30pm 5.30pm 3.00pm 1.30pm 12.00pm

Newcastle Newcastle Northumbria Newcastle Newcastle Northumbria Northumbria

Northumbria Newcastle Newcastle Newcastle Newcastle Newcastle Newcastle

Cross Country M Cross Country W

Town Moor Town Moor

11.00am 11.00am

Northumbria Northumbria

Northumbria Northumbria

Gateshead Stadium Gateshead Stadium Gateshead Stadium Gateshead Stadium Sport Central Sport Central Gateshead Stadium Gateshead Stadium Steve Smith Centre Sports Centre Sports Centre Longbenton Longbenton 3G Longbenton 3G Coach Lane Killlingworth Matfen Hall Close House Coach Lane Coach Lane Coach Lane Cochrane Park Redhall Sports Centre Sports Centre Sports Centre Sports Centre Kingston Park Bullocksteads Kingston Park Heaton Heaton Cochrane Park Sports Centre Sports Centre Sports Centre Sport Central Sport Central Sport Central Sport Central Sport Central Sport Central Sport Central Churchill Churchill Virgin Active

1.00pm 3.00pm 12.00pm 1.00pm 2.00pm 12.00pm 3.00pm 1.00pm 12.00pm 1.30pm 1.30pm TBC 1.00pm 3.00am 7.00pm 2.00pm 11.00am 11.00am 3.00pm 1.30pm 12.00pm 2.00pm 2.00pm 3.45pm 2.15pm 11.00am 10.45am 5.30pm 2.00pm 7.30pm 2.15pm 12.15pm 2.00pm 4.00pm 2.00pm 12.00pm 2.00pm 12.00pm 2.00pm 2.00pm 1.00pm 12.00pm 11.00am 9.00am 9.00am 9.00am

Northumbria Newcastle Draw Newcastle Northumbria Northumbria Newcastle Northumbria Newcastle Newcastle Newcastle Northumbria Northumbria Northumbria Northumbria Northumbria Newcastle Northumbria Newcastle Northumbria Northumbria Newcastle Newcastle Northumbria Newcastle Newcastle Newcastle Newcastle Newcastle Northumbria Newcastle Newcastle Newcastle Newcastle Newcastle Newcastle Northumbria Newcastle Newcastle Northumbria Newcastle Newcastle Newcastle Northumbria Newcastle Newcastle

Draw Newcastle Newcastle Draw Northumbria Northumbria Northumbria Northumbria Not contested Newcastle Newcastle Northumbria Draw Northumbria Newcastle Northumbria Northumbria Newcastle Newcastle Northumbria Newcastle Newcastle Newcastle Newcastle Newcastle Newcastle Newcastle Newcastle Draw Northumbria Newcastle Newcastle Newcastle Northumbria Newcastle Newcastle Newcastle Newcastle Northumbria Northumbria Newcastle Newcastle Newcastle Draw Newcastle Newcastle

Futsal M Waterpolo M Waterpolo W


Football W 1


Skiing 1


Cricket M 1

Cricket M 2

Rowing IM W (Single) Rowing IM M (Single) Rowing W (Quad) Rowing W (Quad)



Athletics (Track and Field) Badminton M 1 Badminton M 2 Badminton W Basketball M 2 Basketball M 3 Basketball W 1 Basketball W 2 Clay Pigeon Fencing M Fencing W Football M 1 Football M 2 Football M 3 Football W 2 Gaelic Football Golf 1 Golf 2 Hockey W 1 Hockey W 2 Hockey W 3 Lacrosse W Lacrosse M Netball 1 Netball 2 Netball 3 Netball 4 Rugby League 1 Rugby League 2 Rugby Union M 1 Rugby Union M 2 Rugby Union M 3 Rugby Union W Squash M 1 Squash M 2 Squash M 3 Squash W 1 Squash W 2 Swimming M Swimming W Table Tennis M 1 Table Tennis M 2 Table Tennis W 1 Tennis M 1 Tennis M 2 Tennis W 1

The Courier


Monday 4 March 2013 | @Courier_Listings


Medsin premiere of : ‘They Go To Die’ 6.30pm The Side Cinema

Medsin Newcastle and Results present an exciting opportunity to attend the screening of a new human rights documentary “They Go To Die” which explores the shocking role of British (and other) mining companies in the TB epidemic currently running rampant amongst South African Gold Miners. Gold miners are at increased risk of contracting TB and are frequently sent home with inadequate or no treatment by Mining companies to pass the disease on to their communities. Free Admission

Hot pants and high tops

7.30pm Northern Stage

Newcastle Dance society present their annual showcase. Tickets £6 available outside the union and from Northern Stage box office and website.

Something for the weekend The Circus of Horrors 9 March, 7.30pm Mill Volvo Tyne Theatre

18 years after its conception at the 1995 Glastonbury Festival the show has gone on to tour the World achieving cult status, taking circus to a whole new level. The new phantasmagoria twists and turns, sending a shiver down your spine and the demonic dummy seems to take on a life of its own - featuring fangtastic, Dare Devil & Bizarre Circus acts from all four corners of the world that will have you sitting on the edge of your seat when not falling off them with laughter. If Quentin Tarantino had directed Cirque Du Soleil then you would be only half way there. Tickets from £18 available from Mill Volvo’s website or box office.

Event of the week Festival of Arts and Music 5 February , 7pm Northern Stage An evening celebrating an array of cultural arts, music, performance from the students at Newcastle University Students’ Union. Including 15 different societies from Desi to Dance, Art to Photography, Hindu and Sikh and many more... Tickets available from: Northern Stage box office and website See more at:

NSR: Show of the Week

Downtempo with Jake Gibbon Mondays 10pm-12am

I find listening to music at night a really rewarding, quasi-meditative experience that helps me unwind. I believe that your mind is clearer at the end of the day so you are able to immerse and lose yourself more in music and consequently, the listener can get more out of it. I try to make each show a bit of a musical journey, starting with more dance-y and vibrant songs, ending with sprawling electronic or postrock landscapes to lull you into sleep with many gradual twists and turns in-between.

Why people should listen

To help you relax after long day To find some new music from artists that you may come to love. Good background for revision/essay writing (so I’ve been told)

Monday 4 March 2013

The Courier

Fashion Editors: Elissa Hudson and Lizzie Hampson Online Fashion Editor: Sally Greenwood

What I wore this week

Course: Ancient History and Archaeology Year: 2nd

Course: English Literature Year: 3rd Jeans: BDG at Urban Outfitters, £40 Top: ASOS, £8 Cardigan: Zara, £17 Belt: Massimo Dutti, £30 Shoes: Converse, £45 Scarf: Burberry, £180

Cape: TK Maxx, £25 Shirt: Primark, £10 Trousers: Primark, £15 Loafers: Topshop, £15 Bag: River Island, £40 Total cost of outfit: £105

Total cost of outfit: £320

Rebecca Finney

Annie Morgan

Two of our fashion writers evaluate their wardrobes and give us their favourite outfit of the week

This look is quite simple and classic compared to some rather gaudy items I have in my wardrobe, but my sense of style is so eclectic that tomorrow I could be wearing hi-tops and pleather leggings. Fashion should be enjoyed which is why I love mixing up my style rather than sticking to a certain ‘look.’

When I go into Uni I usually prefer to dress quite casually - I don’t want to be sat in a lecture worrying about my skirt riding up or feeling really flustered and uncomfortable. However dressing comfortably doesn’t necessarily mean wearing smelly joggers and your old, bright blue school hoodie. I think these jeans are a nice change from the usual dark blue or black because they are quite bright but not too garish. To look a little more put together I tucked in my top and added a brown leather belt.

My favourite item of clothing is the trousers. When I first bought them my friends took the mick out of me for ages calling them granny pants but I am in love with them! They are covered in a faint dog tooth pattern making them look far more expensive than they actually are, and paired with a plain white shirt gives the whole look an ‘Irish girl in Paris’ sort of vibe.

London Fashion Week Top Trends

Francis Stevenson chooses her favourite new trends to come out of this season’s LFW, £18.99

Primark, £6

George at Asda, £10

Miss Selfridge, £65

Aviator Jacket


Mixing two of A/W12’s most practical and flattering trends was always going to produce a winning combination. The boyfriend style plus the aviators bulkiness adds some drama to the soft ‘teddybear’ boyfriend coats we’ve seen this season. Think luxe sheepskin, lots of zips and oversized pockets with leather panelling, the ultimate in feminine androgyny. Check out Mulberry for a totally unaffordable dream coat, but don’t fret as high-street alternatives will be around come Autumn.

Designers have been flirting with Punk style for a while now and the trend continues to grow in A/ W13, but instead of the British Mods vs Rockers, think more American ‘70s Blondie. PVC, tartan and kilts populated the catwalks, proving that the provocative movement hasn’t lost its raunchy roots and the power to show a LOT of leg. There will almost certainly be a version of the Scottish classic tartan on the high street by September.

Instagram Hearts Head to toe print takes a different turn this season, with a move away from the pyjama trend, the simple love heart is making a comeback. Next season expect to see the Instaheart everywhere, as advocated by none other than Burberry. Think of a dress covered entirely in hearts, an instant boost to your self-esteem and just very cute. This heart print adds a new and modern take on the tired smiley face. Go on, you know you want to ‘like’ it.

Poison Green Last season, the rich and earthy hues of purple, oxblood red and green were impossible to miss. However A/W13 snaps up the ivy green and thrusts it centre stage. Described as ‘posh olive oil’ this tone oozes opulence and is flattering on pretty much every skin colour. From mossy dresses to deep bottle green shirts, this hue is set to stay, just perhaps with a better name than ‘posh olive oil’.

The Courier


Monday 4 March 2013 | @Courier_Fashion

Fashionista or fashion-mister? The Courier Fashion Editors took to the streets of Newcastle to quiz the male population on their fashion knowledge. Here are some of our favourite answers...


Fashion Blog of the Week

What does MAC stand for? Real answer: Make-Up Art Cosmetics Man-swer: “Make-up and clothes?” What does ASOS stand for? Real answer: As Seen on Screen. Man-swer: “American

What does V.P.L. stand for? Real answer: Visible Panty Line. Man-swer:

“Very pretty legwear?”

Social Online

Shopping?” “Artificial Superstore Online Shopping.” “Accessories and Sandals Outlet Store.”

What is a Mulbs? Real answer: A Mulberry handbag Man-swer: “Something that goes around your neck.” What is a bucket bag? Real answer: Spacious bucket shaped shoulder bag Man-swer: “Can you make a sand-castle with it?”

What is a Manolo Blahnik? Real answer: Famous Spanish shoe designer.

Man-swer:“Is Manolo a colour? Like a close

sibling of Magnolia?” “A belt that you don’t wear in the same place as a normal belt, I’ve seen them before but I don’t know what they re called.”

What are flatforms? Real answer: A flat platformed shoe. Man-swer: “Less plat, more flat.”

Men-swer: “A large playsuit maybe?”

What is a skater dress? Real answer: A fitted dress on the top which flows into an Aline shaped skirt. Man-swer: “Does it have shoulder pads?”

Online Boutique of the Week

What is a F-row? Real answer: The front row at a fashion show.

Man-swer: “Is it like a bow on the front

of something... like a front bow.” What is dogtooth? Real answer: A black and white repeated pattern.

What is a body chain? Real answer: An elaborate necklace that wraps around your body

The Golden Diamonds began as a modest fashion blog by Doina Ciobanu of Moldova. As the fashion world was reinvigorating the grungy 90s look, with her fitted waistlines and elegant heels Diona appeared bolder than any lilac coloured hair or neon beanie. She combines posts about her own outfits with how-to-wear tutorials about current trends, and uses her website as a portal to Fashion Weeks worldwide. Currently in Milan, Doina attends fashion shows and posts highlights, gives synopses about it-girls and stylists of the moment, and models her own impeccable outfits, always accompanied with a thoughtful blurb about anything from her new pair of shoes to her philosophies regarding life and travel. At only eighteen, her accomplishments are numerous, and she is a truly unique and youthful voice contributing to the fashion world. Hannah Goldstein

Simply Be, £85 Evans, £35

Images: Doina Ciobaru

Man-swer:“Some sort of jewellery, like a tooth on a necklace.” What is a kitten heel? Real answer: A small stiletto heel

Man-swer : “When you stand on

a kitten with your heel.”

Looking for a piece of costume jewellery to complete an outfit or catch somebody’s eye? Millie ‘n’ Mae has an extensive range from gorgeous pearl collars for the girly girls to large black and gold statement pieces for the indie girl. Their stock is different from what you’ll find on the high-street so you’re guaranteed to have a bit of individuality. With student friendly prices you can stock up on all the latest trends, like lace collars and the shamballa bracelets (they make perfect gifts) or why not treat yourself to an ear cuff ?

For 25% off at Millie ‘n’ Mae use the code NEWCASTLE25 Daisy Ridley

The Courier


Monday 4 March 2013 | @Courier_Beauty

Beauty Editors: Amy Macauley, Lizzie Hampson Elissa Hudson & Sally Greenwood

How to: London Fashion Week make-up

Annie Morgan shows us how to recreate the dewy skin look seen on the Burberry catwalk at Fashion Week Step 1: Base and Brows

Step 2: Glow

Step 3: Eyes

Step 4: Lips

Dewy skin is going to be big in 2013, forget about matte, flat skin, it’s all about achieving a radiant glow. Flawless skin is always going to be in, so make sure to use a radiant, light or medium weight foundation and just add concealer where you really need it. Also make sure your eyebrows look groomed, because that really pulls the look together.

After finishing your foundation, move on to bronzer, blusher and highlighter. Subtly contour your cheekbones and define your strongest features. Add a flush of a natural looking blush to the apples of your cheeks, and highlighter on your brow bone, the top of your cheekbones and down the centre of your face. You can do this using a liquid, cream or a powder highlighter.

Apply a neutral shade all over your lid to conceal any veins, blue tones or pigmentation, and then use a slightly darker neutral colour in the socket and along your bottom lashes. At the Burberry show, the top lashes were heavily coated in mascara for a ‘60s look, so avoid putting mascara on your lower lashes. Use a flesh toned eyeliner on your waterline for a bright-eyed effect.

For this look I went for a bold purple, but you could go for a deep red or an orange. ‘90s style purples are making a comeback this Spring and will be sticking around come Autumn/Winter When working with a bold colour, make sure to line your lips with a matching lip liner and steer clear of using lip-gloss over your lipstick – that is so not AW13.

Tip of the Week: get rid of those roots

What’s in my bag? Daisy Ridley shares her make-up bag essentials that she couldn’t live without

Olivia Jeffery gives us a few suggestions for how to disguise those tell tale roots in between trips to the hairdressers

As we approach the spring season, woolly hats can no longer hide our grown out roots. For us students who dye our hair, shortage of funds can often result in a lack of regular touch ups. Or if like myself, you are loyal to your hairdresser at home, having to wait until Easter break to book an appointment may call for you to try out temporary measures to hide that appalling re-growth. A few beauty products from the high street will soon sort you out. John Frieda’s Lightening Spray is great for blondies. You simply spray it onto those tell tale roots and with four to five uses they’ll be significantly lighter. This product works well with heat so when the hair is damp, blow-dry it straight away to allow the product to work. The product itself will last you quite a while in between trips to the hairdressers, so at only £6.99 from Boots, it’s a bargain. Try not to use this product too frequently though, as it does contain bleach and overuse could leave your hair damaged, with the risk of it starting to break off at the root. For a last minute touch up before a night out, you could use coloured mascara on the roots. If you’re brunette, buy a brown mascara to match your hair colour and lightly stroke the wand where the coverage is needed. This may seem pretty strange, but for a quick transformation in the matter of minutes, it is worth a go and nobody has to find out your secret. Another cheap and cheerful option is Batiste’s coloured dry shampoo range. This is a great option for all hair colours as they do shades for blondes, brunettes and red-heads. A quick spray on a morning will hide those unsightly roots (whilst giving you amazing volume) until you manage to book a hair appointment.

Benefit ‘That Gal’ Brightening Face Primer Want a fresh-faced glow? This product does just that. I apply it lightly to my cheeks over my foundation and I look more awake than I really am. It’s a light pink liquid that doesn’t leave an oily finish, but leave time to let it settle before you apply your bronzer and blusher over the top. You can also use it before your foundation or even mix the two for a really radiant all-over glow.

Lancôme Hypnose Drama Mascara I have tried my fair share of mascaras over the years, but this has topped them all. The brush shape fits neatly into the curve of your eyelashes and the opening of the tube is narrow so when you’re applying the mascara you don’t get any of those clumpy bits that leave you with spider lashes. It’s worth the price as you can build up a few layers without clumping for a more dramatic evening look.

Chanel Correcteur Perfection Long Lasting Concealer This is the best concealer I have ever used, and is far better than the infamous YSL Touché Éclat. It has the perfect amount of coverage to hide those post night out under eye bags, leaving you looking a lot more well rested than you really are. The formula is light enough so that it doesn’t crease underneath your eyes and the tube is just the right size to fit into your clutch for touch-ups on a night out.


Monday 4 March 2013

The Courier

Arts Editors: Lisa Bernhardt and Millie Walton Online Arts Editors: Grace Harvey

Let’s paint the Toon! Kris Holland photographs A guide for an eye on a day the best of Newcastle’s graffiti in an attempt to trip to an art gallery understand its position in “The relation between what we see and what we the cultural world. Is this know is never settled. Each evening we see the sun set. We know that the earth is turning away art or merely the work of from it. Yet the knowledge, the explanation, bored teenagers? never quite fits the sight.” (John Burger, ‘Ways of Seeing’)


rt galleries and museums are often bewildering and strange microcosmic spaces. It is as if there is an unwritten set of rules and those who dare to break them are lugged by burly men dressed in black to the darkest corners of the gallery archives, so as to be ‘culturally corrected’. There are misconceptions about the art world that prevent the archetypical modern woman and man from being comfortable with it. The ideal situation would be for viewers to connect with an artwork for a great length of time and for a momentary relationship to be established between the two. But instead the atmosphere in a popular exhibition is often as chaotic as shopping in Tesco’s on a Thursday evening. People flitter between the artworks, giving as much attention to the title as to the actual content, with such a great rush as if to get the whole experience over and done with. At the Louvre in Paris, crowds massacre Leonardo Da Vinci’s ‘Mona Lisa’ with flash photography; few people ever see the painting beyond their own camera lenses.

This epitomizes the problem that we, the public, seem to have gotten ourselves into. People do generally have the mind to critically observe artwork, however false expectations and lack of self-confidence deny them the function of their own visual intelligence. This problem can be related to the way society encourages us to think; we tune our thoughts to be verbalized rather than visualized or imagined. Though the importance of verbal thinking is undisputed, more consideration should be given to visual intelligence. So when we find ourselves in an exhibition, we have the means by which to truly see the artwork. There are a handful of solutions, little snippets of wisdom, by which one can have a greater sense of the artwork in galleries and museums. First and foremost, we need to consciously make an effort to relax ourselves, to realize that we are in a timeless space where we do not need to consider anything but the closing hour. Part with your coat and bag, leave them in the cloakroom, and avoid the burdening feeling of being cluttered. All in all, this should help clarity of mind where you can look at an artwork without feeling any exterior demands. Do not feel obliged to look at every artwork on every wall and plinth; it is better to commit to a selection of art, rather than skimming past a complete collection without thought or reason. When in front of a piece, let your eyes travel around the work and make sense of the details without trying to define them in words. Allow time for your mind to process the information before moving on. It is the most curious phenomenon when you realize you can start to dissect the image’s structural and tonal qualities. Art is only rewarding to the viewer who can feel an engagement with it and this should not be a luxury reserved for the highbrow culture-junkies. James Ricketts


ecently in London, everyone’s favourite graffiti artist, Banksy, caused a stir yet again, when his mural of a young boy stitching Union Jack bunting on an old sewing machine was ‘stolen’ from the wall of a now very upset Poundland. It later appeared on a Miami auction site, expecting to sell for around half a million dollars. What’s most interesting though is that local councilor Claire Kober has announced that she is campaigning to get the ‘piece’ back. In theory though, Claire shouldn’t be annoyed. All that’s happened is something that you can go to prison for up to ten years (spraying on a public wall) has been removed. Claire should be thanking the pesky Miami millionaires who stole a bit of her criminally damaged wall, but she isn’t, and why not?

Graffiti has long been something more than ‘Kev luvs Shaz’ on a wall Graffiti has long been something more than ‘Kez luvs Shaz’ on a wall, and the artistic ability that is needed in order to be a perpetrator of this supposedly heinous crime seems to have been rewarded in recent years, by people like Claire, with a place in a sort of grey area of legality. Obviously it’s still illegal to spray on public property, but when it’s there it doesn’t seem to get rubbed off quite as quickly nowadays as the law would have us believe it should be. Graffiti has become a celebrated form of artistic expression and ironically, a corporate fat cat could now find themselves crossing their fingers that a Banksy piece attacking corporate fat cats will appear on their wall, as it could well make them a lot fatter and er, catlike. This is just a small sample of some of the graffiti that can be found around Newcastle, but the question remains as to whether it’s just criminal damage or something with breathtaking artistic credibility.

The Courier


Monday 4 March 2013 | @courier_arts


Spotlight on...

Eros and Psyche

Northern Stage, 20 February


o her triumph, the wide-eyed and eccentric Sally Pomme Clayton maintained her enchantment throughout the duration of the 100-minute performance of Eros and Psyche. The audience, themselves, had an air of academia and thespian subtly, occasionally chuckling at a joke that would be beyond the proverbial student. This was a show that would make a fitting date to seduce a highbrow classicist or philosophy fiend. Despite the niche theme of the night the majority of the content was accessible and enjoyable. The performance raised questions on the nature of love by bringing together two classical texts, Eros and Psyche and Plato’s Symposium. For those who are unfamiliar with these texts and may find the scholastic titles daunting do not be deterred, the fluidity of the script and acting made the tales easy to comprehend. Dotted around the stage was a collection of unusual percussion instruments, which Pomme Clayton used to great effect by complimenting climatic scenes with weird and wonderful whirling noises. She was poetically descriptive and encouraged the audience to use their own imaginations to formulate a strong concept of the tale; it was a meditative sensation! Overall, Eros and Psyche had the most striking ability to turn the viewers into philosophers of their own love, lust and jealously. The show was a curious and intimate display of drama and those who had happened to attend left that little bit wiser to life’s predicaments. James Ricketts

The Foreigner Theatre Royal 4 - 6 March


Flare Path


St. Luke’s Church 6 - 8 March

et in a fishing lodge in rural Georgia, ‘The Foreigner’ revolves around the visit of two guests, ‘Froggy’ LeSeur, a British demolition expert, and his friend Charlie Baxter. Naturally shy and depressed as his beloved wife may be dying, Charlie is overcome with the thought of having to make conversation with strangers. To relieve his unease, ‘Froggy’ informs all present that Charlie is from an exotic country and speaks no English. Though Charlie is initially appalled by Froggy’s fabrication, he soon finds himself privy to an assortment of outrageous scandals and secrets, which the other visitors discuss freely in front of him. A two-faced, sinister minister and his redneck associate reveal their evil plans, whilst Charlie also overhears that the minister’s pretty fiancée is pregnant; meanwhile, one of the younger guests attempts to ‘teach’ Charlie how to speak English. The revelations just keep coming, leading to the hilariously dramatic climax. American playwright Larry Shue’s two-act comedy has won numerous awards and continues to be a favourite in the theatrical world. The new production by NUTS, staged in the Theatre Royal, offers a night of silly fun and light-heartedness as the perfect counter to the stress of deadlines. Millie Walton

et in the autumn of 1942, Flare Path follows film star Peter Kyle’s attempt to win back his ex-girlfriend Patricia who has married a pilot. Shortly after Peter’s arrival at a Lincolnshire hotel, where a bomber crew has been reunited with their wives for the weekend, an urgent raid over Germany is announced. The airmen are forced to take to the skies, leaving Peter and Patricia alone. In what feels like the longest night of her life, Patricia is forced to confront her stifled feelings and choose between her courageous husband to whom she owes her loyalty and her true love, Hollywood heartthrob Peter. The background of a bombing raid intensifies the private drama being played out in the hotel, testing the level of emotional strain one person can handle. Written during WWII by RAF officer Terence Rattigan, the play draws on real life experience of wartime, celebrating the collective spirit of bomber crews and their partners. The play was met with a plethora of praise during its London run in 2011 starring Sienna Miller and now NUTS take it on, in what promises to be a highly moving production. A story of love, duty and fear, Flare Path will give you a heart-moving insight into the life with the bomber boys. Millie Walton

Princess Ida




Hot Pants & High Tops

Northern Stage 21 - 23 February

Jesmond Royal Grammar School 22 - 23 February

here are some stories you think you just know; they have been part of your childhood, and despite them being retold over and over again, they remain the same for you. So you might think you know the story of Rapunzel, of her being locked in a tower by an evil witch and rescued by a prince climbing the tower with the help of her long blonde hair. Experiencing balletLorent’s take on the classic Brothers Grimm tale will completely change your idea of what is often perceived as yet another romantic fairy tale. The dreamy, Gothic-esque stage and set design, including the magnificent use of coloured light, created a serious, yet magical atmosphere that catered to Carol Ann Duffy’s version of Rapunzel, like no garden full of flowers and no tower adorned with delicate merlons could. Unlike most renditions of the fairy tale, the story revolves mostly around Rapunzel’s parents – an often neglected part of the narrative – and how they lose their daughter to the witch which gives the story a thrilling emotional depth. Paired with the innovative costume design and captivating musical score, BalletLorent’s Rapunzel is a stunning visual experience that stimulated eyes, ears and mind alike whilst entertaining young and old generations with a beautiful, intense choreography that is marvellously performed by the talented cast. Lisa Bernhardt

he Gilbert and Sullivan Society have done it again! The society’s rendition of Princess Ida was filled with fantastic singing and humour from start to finish. The play itself deals with issues such as feminism, anarchy and literal battles between the sexes. However, directors Rory Oliver and Steven Aitchison have succeeded in making this comic opera a light-hearted triumph with many a humorous moment, the most memorable being when Hilarion (Martin Lay), Florian (Angus Mather) and Cyril (Will Finn) creep into the castle, put on some dresses they find lying around and are instantly ‘disguised’ as women! Each of those actors should be commended for their performances. Adding to the comical moments were King Hildabrand (Andrew Watson) and Lady Blanche (Catt Symonds-Thompson) who played their malicious, miserable parts to great effect. This play, however, could not have been such a success without its lead, Princess Ida herself. With her soaring voice managing to reach some extremely high notes, Anna Scott highlighted just how very good the standard of music really was. The only slight worry was just how well Scott, and indeed all the other women, portrayed women who despised men! Overall NUGSS’ performance of Princess Ida was a fun filled evening with a very high standard of music and acting. Lucinda Ashton

Northern Stage 8 - 9 March


here are some things you need to experience whilst at University in Newcastle, the nightlife is obviously one of them, but another is the student productions which are rated some of the best in the country. Newcastle dance society has gone from strength to strength over the years, winning numerous awards. ‘Hot Pants and High Tops’ is the dance society’s latest offering for us, featuring a wide range of styles with everything from street to lyrical to musical theatre. All levels of experience are included in show, with some pieces coming straight from national competitions. This year there is more variety than there has ever been, with the addition of live music accompaniment and guest performances from the Irish Dance Society, and let’s face it if you weren’t already sold on the talent, the title is a pretty big incentive to see what these dancers have to offer. No matter their degree programme, experience or musical taste, every member of the society has their chance to shine on stage and show off what they have been working hard at all year- particularly the exciting new introduction of some boys who will be demonstrating their skills for the first time. The quality of the choreography is better than ever, the music the most diverse; this year’s dance show is going to a whole new level! Tickets are available Monday - Wednesday outside of the SU or on the Northern Stage website. Sally Priddle



Northern Stage 25 - 27 February


s navigating the web of predatory colored anoraks on Northumberland street is something every Newcastle student has to face on a day to basis, NUTS first play of the season, Chugger, tackles the manipulation, social politics and coercion of the front line workers (i.e. charity muggers). Exploring the phenomenon through a group of employees who work and live together, Chugger is a dark and delicious slice of social satire, where guilt is currency, compassion is for hire and meeting targets is everything. Exploring the many faces of manipulation that surround charity work, writer Dale J. Pearson realistically captures how these coercive tactics bleed into normal social interactions, with issues of bullying, abusive relationships and even charity based vigilantism in the brilliantly performed Danny Dyer-esque delivery of the ‘phenomenal stranger’. Focusing mainly on the shock-waves caused by student Kay entering a charity team, the performances are incredible, flipping intermittingly between the comedic chemistry revolving around the awkward dialogue of Mikey, while seamlessly flitting to high drama. When tied in with student drama, hilarious murderous ‘chugger’ fantasies, and sinisterly clever denouement, Chugger is a must for anyone who has been held captive in broad daylight, and is a memorable start to 2013 for NUTS. Chris Binding


Monday 4 March 2013

The Courier

Music Editors: Chris Haywood and Sam Summers Online Music Editor: Sophie Coletta

How to Buy... Sub Pop


Atoms For Peace


Beth Durant explores the landmark records of Sub Pop; a record label founded in Seattle widely credited with popularizing grunge music. For Beginners:

The Shins Wincing The Night Away (2007) Wincing The Night Away debuted at number 2 on the Billboard 100 and in the process achieved the highest chart position ever reached by a Sub Pop release. Ranging from hip-hop influences to new wave and psychedelia, it was also arguably the most musically diverse release, although it retained that same likable uncertainty and understated pop themes from The Shins’ first two albums. Having taken a lot of criticism for sounding too safe, this release showed that The Shins were willing to take some slow but sure steps out of their comfort zone. It’s a perfect introduction to the general evolved sound of the label itself since the early ‘90s, and serves as a great first step into the indie rock sub-genre of Sub Pop.

For Experts: Nirvana Bleach (1989)

Bleach is seen as the quintessential sound of early ‘90s Seattle grunge, and at the time it was hanging onto the back of releases from label-mates Mudhoney without making huge waves in the national music scene. Fast forward three years and Nirvana had achieved mainstream success and were signed with a major distributing label to release their second album Nevermind, but the coup of being the first label to sign such a large and influential artist put Sub Pop on the map, and it remains their best-selling release to this date. Re-released in 1992 following the success of Nevermind, it achieved chart success in the UK and Australia and duly became a symbol of Sub Pop’s dedication to nurturing of unknown artists.

For The Bin:

CSS Donkey (2008) You’d think that after riding so high after the success of their first album, Brazilian band Cansei der Sexy aka CSS would have thrown something even better at us. But whilst Donkey shows all the vivacious energy of its predecessor, it doesn’t hit hard enough or shout loud enough to make a lasting impact. It’s as sleek and well produced as you’d expect for a second release, but it lacks the distinct spark that gave us songs like ‘Let’s Make Love...’ and ‘Alala’. When you consider all of the talent seeping from the Sub Pop label, it’s fair to say that this release left us scratching our heads and wondering where the old ambition and attitude went from our favourite dancehappy, pop-revolutionary Brazilians.

aving just released a collaborative LP featuring Flea of Red Hot Chili Peppers, has the odd, insular genius of Radiohead’s Thom Yorke finally started to lighten up? And more importantly, is the album worth a listen? Despite the enormous success he achieved with Radiohead, Yorke’s music has often divided opinion for being a little, well, depressing. Welcome, then, Atoms For Peace, Yorke’s new musical vehicle featuring famous friends Flea, former REM drummer Joey Waronker, Radiohead producer Nigel Godrich on keyboards and Brazillian ‘guest percussionist’ Joey Refosco. Don’t call it a supergroup... so how does this line-up fit together? Atoms For Peace will definitely sound familiar to fans of Radiohead. Yorke retains his dissonant melodic and songwriting sensibilities and, although the collaborators do add some new flavours to his existing musical repertoire, it is very much a Thom Yorke album. It’s an evolution, rather than a revolution, that sees his music moving in a slightly warmer, more groove-led direction. Amok is a dense, loop heavy album. The production features many deft touches which, like the atmospheric dripping water sample on ‘Ingenue’ for example, are difficult to isolate and identify in the mix. It’s definitely an album that takes a few listens to get one’s head around, with more hidden details becoming apparent with each listen. Afrobeat-tinged, polyrhythmic percussion is the framework, warped synths provide a melodic focal point and propulsive looped basslines supply the groove and thrust. Yes, it’s a sound that could well have you wringing out your auditory knickers. At its core, this is progressive electronic music;

Welcome Oblivion

it resists any further classification. Toucing upon some established genres – R&B, techno, 2-Step – it never dwells for long. Waronker and Refosco’s dual percussion allows the songs to bounce and skip forward whilst Yorke’s weary, but often beautiful, vocals float on the surface. Yorke’s vocal performance is casual and assured; the variety and nuance of his vocal range give the impression that his voice is an instrument in its own right.

Atoms For Peace will definitely sound familiar to fans to Radiohead; it is very much a Thom Yorke album Amok progresses at its own pace; the songs take their sweet time to develop, but patience is rewarded. The savvy layering of the sonic elements gives the music a hypnotic and arresting quality. Closing track ‘Amok’ is a highlight, as a melancholic, house-influenced shuffle which gradually builds in intensity through subtle layers of synth and vocals, reaching an irresistibly ecstatic climax. Fans of Radiohead won’t be disapointed. Amok is an album of though provoking sounds, one I’d recommend to any progressive electronic music aficionado. Recommended download: ‘Amok’ Mike Slaski

If you like this, try ... The Invisible The Invisible

Nominated for the 2009 Mercury Music Prize, The Invisible’s first effort was initially surrounded by little fanfare. It was surprising not least because this was a rich and dense work that flunctuated between experimental and pop with shimmering production.

The Messenger

How to destroy angels_


Johnny Marr





Recommended download: ‘Too Late, All Gone’

Recommended download: ‘Upstarts’

Recommended download: ‘The Fall’

ike every other Trent Reznor project I’ve heard, from his work with the industrial game-changers Nine Inch Nails to the Social Network soundtrack, there’s always a dark vibe that slowly oozes out of every synth and machinelike drumbeat. Partnered once again with his wife Mariqueen Maandig, How to destroy angels_ is no different. This being their first full length album after a string of singles and EP’s, Maandig once again handles the majority of the vocal duties, her light voice injecting an occasionally soothing tone into a very distorted soundscape comprised of bass tones and grimy samples. She provides a cool contrast to the more established Reznorian sound that canvasses the LP. As with his work with Atticus Ross on The Social Network, the compositions featured here aim to set a very definable tone, as oppose to aiming for a particular hook or melodic section to make you suddenly take notice. This is ‘sit-back-and-tune-in’ music, for someone who wants to tune in, and take notice of every nuance of the layered sound that surrounds them. Reznor’s sludgy world of toxic electronica is what has made him such an iconic figure in the past two decades, and with more songs that bubble and steam like a boiling swamp, this is more of the same grunge-like wizardry. Welcome Oblivion is very much a pet-project, reeking of pretention from the first few seconds. However, if you’re a Reznor fan, or into experimentally atmospheric electronic music, you’ve taken a bath in this swamp many times before, and it’s just as inviting to step back in.

Scott Tailford

ohnny Marr has spent that last 25 years resentfully answering persistent questions about The Smiths, who’ve understandably cast a long shadow over a career spent flitting from one prestigious project to another but never quite reaching the same iconic heights. The Messenger, Marr’s solo debut, is a pretty solid effort – if you can get past the dodgy cover art, which makes him look like he’s taking part in a reconstruction scene for a no-win-no-fee injury lawyers advert. Admittedly, it’s a grower: it’s not going to grab you by the throat and demand your attention, and there’s nothing particularly groundbreaking or cutting-edge going on. Perhaps this is because our ears have become accustomed to Marr’s jangly, spacey guitar tones through all the cheap imitation-indie spawned since 1982, so that it no longer sounds quite as fresh or vibrant even when done by the man himself. Or perhaps it’s the production: Marr may be one of the most distinctive guitarists ever yet here the razor-sharp brilliance of his guitar work is swamped in the mix. That said, there are some great tracks on The Messenger, with tunes that’ll worm their way into your brain. The best passage of the album is undoubtedly the sequence of rousing ‘Upstarts’, uplifting ‘Lockdown’, and the disco-y title track, all intersecting catchy vocals with passages of Marr’s signature atmospheric, deftly-woven guitar. Album-closer ‘Word Starts Attack’ is another gem, all acidic guitar riffs and dance-punk drums, so that the record burns out sharply rather than fading away.

Kate Bennett

hen Rhye posted a couple of songs online early last year, the blogosphere went into overload, as nothing was actually revealed about them. Making things even more difficult was the wonderfully feminine vocals on both tracks. They finally revealed themselves as Canadian electronic musician Michael Milosh and Robin Hannibal, Milosh providing the Sade-like vocals which really set Rhye apart. It’s Milosh’s voice that really carries this album. Hauntingly intimate but simultaneously coy, he tackles sex and relationships with a beautiful honesty, similar to the early Weeknd mixtapes but a lot less sinister. In a world of over-sexualisation in electronic music, it’s refreshing to hear love and sex tackled in such a way. The album really goes through the motions, from the swooning strings of ‘Open’ to the ‘morning after the night before’ house music stylings of ‘The Fall’ to the surprisingly poppy ‘Last Dance’, the opening trio manage to effectively set the mood that dominates the rest of the album because, despite the sensual feel of the tracks, Milosh’s vocals continue to be hypnotic, cooing and ahhing through his disarmingly honest views of sex and relationships. Most bands that feel the need to begin with anonymity usually disappoint in the long run, unless they’re someone huge doing a crazy collaboration or someone huge just wanting to piss about for a bit. Here the mystery only made Rhye more endearing and, even better, when the curtain was pulled down to see who The Wizard actually was, it took absolutely nothing away. A stunning debut that warrants the excitement surrounding Rhye.

Chris Taylor

The Courier


Monday 4 March 2013 | @courier_music

sceNE: Acrobatic Society

Delving into the region’s exploding music scene, Grace Stephenson brings you a band that have quickly made a name for themselves


n the words of vocalist Adam Pearson, Acrobatic Society are ‘an attempt at a balance between very meticulous arrangements and the impression of a loose, frenetic sound.’ Without a doubt, it is this quality that makes conveying the band’s sound no mean feat. This is perhaps why they have often been rather lazily labelled as ‘post-punk’ - a description which drummer David Macdonald finds irritating. Though the fluidity of their style makes them difficult to be defined, it is precisely this unique flexibility which makes the band stand out in the densely populated North East music scene. Just as intriguing as their sound, is the mesmerising cover art for their new EP, Kick Me, I’m Down, an image that one is immediately drawn to. Created by Seb Trend, an emerging artist with a studio at The NewBridge Project, the illustration does more to reflect Acrobatic Society’s sound than any words could come close to doing. When asked what inspired this cracked cover, Pearson said, ‘We want something distorted, something that replicated the sentiments of the compositions that were, among other things, something to do with how the good intentions of a gesture can sometimes be thwarted and warped into something not very pretty, and can be interpreted as cruel.’ This collaboration between the musicians and the artist seems so organic, and they are lucky to have found someone with the talent to express exactly the nuance of the whole EP with just one striking image. When asked to choose his favourite song from the EP Pearson decided on ‘Pink’, but not before mentioning that he often listens back to recordings and doesn’t feel they are as good as the current songs they are working on. Their desire to continually strengthen their song writing and performance is important to them, and the need to change and

develop further is key. Macdonald feels that if they didn’t achieve this then they would ‘certainly not be worthy of an interview anywhere. We’d be too boring.’ Boring is definitely not a word that could ever be attributed to Acrobatic Society. Though at points their songs can lull you into a false sense of calm, as soon as you begin to relax some surprising twist comes out of nowhere and smacks you right in the

balls. Even without seeing the band live, you can sense the electricity and charge which is aching to jump out of the confines of the recording. Acrobatic Society’s new EP, Kick Me, I’m Down, is released on March 4th. Catch them at its launch at NewBridge Project studios on March 8th.

This week we gave Kris Holland Lauryn Hill’s legendary hip hop/R&B love-in, without telling him what it was...

Lauryn Hill

Music Editor Chris Haywood speaks to Le Vern from Love Saturdays at Digital

What soundtrack did you set out to have at Love Saturdays? Mr.Scruff, The Vaccines, The Drums, Bastille, Dog is Dead, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Nirvana, White Lies, Radiohead, The Naked&Famous, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, The Beatles, The Beach Boys, Diana Ross, Stevie Wonder, James Brown and Michael Jackson. I have most likely missed a load of big ones, but this is what I have in the forefront of my mind every Saturday.

No artist. No title. No clue...

The Miseducation Of Lauryn Hill (1998)

Last night a DJ saved my life

How did you want people to see Love Saturdays? A place that you are guaranteed to hear good music and party with good people. Simple.

Unknown Pleasures

What do you enjoy playing most at Love Saturdays? I most enjoy playing modern classics people once loved and moved on from, when they just trigger a fond memory from the past. I see them consume the first four bars of the track and the elation on some peoples faces is priceless.

What are you listening to at the moment? I’m listening to a band from Manchester called Swiss Lips who I saw support Bastille last winter. I cant really compare them to anyone as they definitely have their own sound. I’m always listening to a lot of a young local band called Lisbon who you can already see have fantastic potential.

In reality, what songs define Love Saturdays? It is hard to answer that question but The Beatles’ ‘Twist & Shout,’ Red Hot Chilli Peppers’ ‘Can’t Stop’ and Dick Dale & His Del Tones’ ‘Miserlou’ always get a fantastic reception.

In one sentence, why should people visit Love Saturdays? Four rooms of the best music in one of the best clubs in Europe. That says enough.


he album opens in a classroom, with roll calls, questions about love and lots of laughing children. I imagine this must have something to do with the album’s concept, but it’s all a bit sloppy for me if I’m honest, as well as a bit weird. The first track proper [‘Lost Ones’] tells us that even if we won some, we just lost one, and it’s much more ballsy than the opener, even if it ends with another bunch of school kids being asked questions about love, which takes the edge off a bit. The production is seamless though, and it’s typical of the ‘90s polished R&B. Still, I got the feeling that after this that I would have to strap in for an hour of schmaltzy and overly sentimental boredom. Then, hang on! Four minutes and twenty seconds into Track 4 [‘To Zion’] and there’s a guitar solo! Perhaps this woman has more to give? It is, on the other hand, ‘Dirty Diana’ guitar solo – totally over the top and thrown in, and it probably wasn’t by Van Halen either. Nevertheless, I was soon awoken from my ‘ooh’-induced coma and was up for whatever this sad rapping/wailing lady had to throw at me next! Track 5 [‘Doo Wop (That Thing)’] hits and, with its inspirational trumpets and messages of independence, you all of a sudden start to think ‘shit, if this lady stops being a cliché, starts rapping some more and tries to cut about a minute off of her songs then there could be a reason for this albums’ classic status’. Things really start to pick up from here. The second half of the album is a lot stronger, and when you’ve become immune to the saccharine spoken word sections – usually involving a teacher talking about ‘taking that person for what he or she is, no matter what he or she is’ and assuring us that ‘you might stop lovin’ that person, but you’ll never stop being in love with that person’ – it all seems ok. The attempts to amalgamate lots of different genres make the album a lot more interesting; funky bass, some more trumpets, strings, guest stars, and the odd bizarre cover version keep you guessing. Overall, you can hear a lot of modern hip hop and R&B’s roots in this album, and the fact that it’s a female rapper/vocalist is something that sets the album apart from the rest. I’m more of a fan of songs that don’t have two minutes of ‘ooh’s and ‘la’s, but this sounds like a trendsetter without the commercial creases totally ironed out, and it’s a classic for a reason!

The Courier


Monday 4 March 2013

Not been there, still got the t-shirt Ever see someone rocking a ‘Tongue and Lips’ tee and wonder if they actually know their ‘Wild Horses’ from their ‘Brown Sugar’? Becca Price discusses those who have neither been there nor done that, but got the t-shirt anyway...


here are many rules in fashion. Don’t wear white to a wedding. Don’t mix… certain colours, or jewellery, or something. I don’t know, it’s not my area. But there is one basic rule of dress we can all agree on: DO NOT WEAR AN ITEM OF CLOTHING FEATURING ANY BAND THAT YOU CAN NOT CARRY A CONVERSATION ABOUT. Nothing good can come out of it. My flatmate once came back from Primark with a rather comfy Ramones jumper, on which I complimented her. Once she admitted she didn’t realise they were actually a band, I told her I’d introduce her at some point. I decided the best time to do this was after stumbling back from a night out a couple of hours later. “EMM!” I shouted, banging on her bedroom door at about 3 in the morning, laptop at the ready. “RAMONES!” She came and sat down on the sofa, politely listened to ‘Blitzkrieg Bop’, asked if I was feeling ok, and promptly went back to bed. I fell asleep and left Spotify running for another two hours – enough time for over fifty Ramones songs. The moral? Don’t wear merchandise from bands you don’t know. It’s just embarrassing all round – for you, for them, for anyone in Sandyford who doesn’t want to listen to ‘The KKK Took My Baby Away’ at five in the morning. This trend is everywhere; Kids in New Look, oblivious to the fact that ‘that tongue thing’ is in any way related to the Rolling Stones. HMV shifting more Stone Roses shirts than CDs in their final clearance sales. People walking around with Northern Soul bags, thinking it must have been some sort of Yorkshire-based political movement. Fake vintage tour shirts, supposedly from the early 70s. Mugs, key rings, magnets, alarm clocks, socks, baby-grows, bags, wallets, badges, USB sticks, sweatbands, watches, lunch boxes, shoes, tattoos, shot glasses, action figures, condoms, board games, fancy-dress costumes, playing cards, lighters and oven gloves. All of these basic household objects

have been turned into music merchandise at some point, and sold to the point where you don’t even need to know the band behind the brand. Even when people aren’t outright unaware of what they’re wearing, there’s still a trend for taking any form of music clothing, regardless of how much you know or like that band, and wearing it. This is mostly fine, but it has its limits – I remember once seeing a girl wearing a Chas & Dave shirt. Has she ever listened to Chas & Dave? I don’t know, maybe she was a big fan of novelty Cockney sing-a-longs. It could be some cool underground revival I’m aware of, but I’m not convinced. There’s a small part of me that hopes she someday finds herself stuck on a bus next to a Chas & Dave fan while wearing that shirt. And not a five minute bus into town, I’m talking about a long, crosscountry journey, like the overnight one to London or the twelve hour to Plymouth. I hope they take the aisle seat, blocking in her next to the window and leaving her with no escape path. I hope they gush about her shirt and congratulate her on her taste, because you don’t see so many young people

to create an easy option for the uncertain shopper. Several shops had shirts, jumpers and hoodies that looked like band merchandise, but for bands that never existed. You know, a Never Mind The Bollocks... font and some stock pictures of musicians with mohicans, with some generic name like ‘Vicious Circle’. Shirts with some spaced out text and a square picture of trees on it, looking like some unknown indie album cover. It fixes one problem – no one is going to unexpectedly grill you on The Beatles’ early back catalogue just because of the shirt you grabbed in the sale – but it defeats the point of wearing that shirt at all. Band merchandise may be a ridiculous symbol of commercialisation, but for fans, it’s never just been a way for artists to get some extra money. It’s a conversation point. It’s a way of identifying like-minded people in a crowd of strangers. And yes, there is a part which is just meant to make you feel like a cool, cultured hipster screaming ‘look at me, I go to gigs and stuff ’ into the atmosphere. But those two magic words – ‘nice shirt’ – are perfect for turning small-talk between acquaintances into

into Chas & Dave nowadays. I hope they ask her about her favourite Chas & Dave albums, and her top five Chas & Dave songs. I hope that this fellow passenger offers her a spare headphone, and has to listen to Chas & Dave for twelve solid hours. I hope Chas & Dave happen to be playing in Plymouth that night, and her bus buddy drags her to see them. I hope she is surrounded by enthusiastic Chas & Dave fans, who are really pleased to meet her. I hope either Chas or Dave sees her in the crowd and invites her backstage, just to chill. I hope they offer to sign her shirt, and tell her all their wild stories from their many years in the music game. I hope they invite her on tour with them, just to be part of the entourage. I hope that they have a journalist backstage who just wants a few words about what Chas & Dave mean to the youth of today. I hope that then – and only then – she breaks down in tears and screams that no, she doesn’t know who they are, and she can’t stand their music now that she’s heard it. She thought that it was an ugly shirt, but faintly music-based and retro, and would therefore make her look cool. She’s been wearing it ironically the whole time. I hope she makes Chas & Dave and all their fans cry. But maybe I’m just being petty. A couple of years ago, high street fashion decided

passionate debates or fan-kid squeals about a band, a genre, a gig, a song, and all the life experiences that go along with it. And it’s just awkward when one person suddenly finds themselves out of their depth, either explaining that the cute little milk carton on their hoodie was in a Blur video once, or bluffing their way through a conversation about Iron Maiden’s live albums. If any t-shirt looks good, then sure, buy it, wear it, love it, but be prepared to back yourself up when the conversation comes around to the music. You are basically a walking advert for some record company somewhere, so you may as well do it with pride. And if someone is clueless about what they’ve accidentally dressed themselves in, be all excited and enthusiastic. Put some hits on or recommend a good album for beginners. It’s not fashion, it’s music. Just don’t try doing it while pissed during the early hours of the morning. That never does anything justice.

Those two magic words - ‘nice shirt’ - are perfect for turning small-talk between acquaintances into passionate debates or fan-kid squeals about a band

PS: That cool-as-anything couple on your Sonic Youth shirt are in fact a cartoonised picture of Myra Hindley’s sister and brother-in-law at the Moors Murders trials. Nothing against the t-shirts or the album, just thought you might like to know.


Monday 4 March 2013

The Courier

TV Editor: Chris Taylor Online TV Editor: Ben Parkin

Troopers of Telly

Pointless is probably the greatest show to watch while you cook your tea and this is mainly due to the chemistry between the presenters. Matt Tate looks at why Richard Osman deserves the attention


he quiz show is one of an illustrious history, and has been frequented by many a charismatic host over the years. But few stand out so much in the last few years, I would suggest, as the dynamic duo of Alexander Armstrong and Richard Osman, who front the immensely successful show that is Pointless. Something of an institution within my friendship group at university and no doubt many others, the premise of Pointless is so simple in its genius that it’s a wonder it had not been done before. Guess the least obvious answer to a question. Whoever has the least points at the end wins. Watching the show and revelling in the euphoria that ensues when you guess a pointless answer that nobody else gets right

is a compelling draw in itself. But for me, the true genius of the show lies with Richard Osman, who sits behind a laptop acting as part quiz-master, part encyclopaedia. Alex Armstrong is equally as good as the presenter, but no quiz show has seduced me as much as Pointless, and the suave, soft-speaking guru-like Osman has elevated it to a state of immovable prestige. I quickly realised this when it proved an impossible fete to find any store that had a remaining stock of the board game at Christmas, but most were able to point you in the direction of the Pointless book, that hoisted itself into the yuletide best-selling charts. So yes, Pointless is sexy and amazing. That it not something that is up for debate. But a quick scavenge of Osman’s wikipedia page informs me that in fact we have a lot more to thank him for than simply enlightening us with random trivia. Osman is the creative director for Endemol UK, which has given us Ready Steady Cook, Million Pound Drop, 8 Out of 10 Cats and numerous others.

He also acts as the Script Editor for Total Wipeout (also an Endemol production), and is therefore responsible for making whatever comes out of Jeremy Clarkson’s excitable little minion Richard Hammond’s mouth just about bearable. That is an accomplishment in itself. For giving us Pointless AND Total Wipeout, two staples of the student hangover, I proclaim him as a true Trooper of Telly. He is that wise and familiar face that no weekday teatime feels complete without; everybody’s Pointless friend and one half of the saving grace of quiz shows. He is also apparently the victor of Heat Magazine’s “Weirdest Crush” award. I cannot speak for the ladies regarding his heartthrob credentials, but if anyone deserves adulation for his contribution to television, it is Richard Osman. Thanks very much, Richard.

Parks & Recreation

BBC4, Wednesday 10pm


t’s very rare that I properly fall in love with a show. Fall so hard that I want to scream its praises from the rooftops. I’ve fallen in love with shows such as The Wire but never while they were on the air, so I never got the excitement of waiting week by week to watch the new episode. But I have done just that with Parks & Recreation. Each week, I wait in anticipation of what the folks at Pawnee Parks & Recreation department have in store. I love this show. It started out a little bit wishy washy, admittedly. Finally being brought to the UK, Parks & Recreation was initially seen as simply a clone of The Office US; a bunch of misfits in an office earnestly trying to go about their jobs while being filmed mockumentary style. Yet just like how The Office US’s first season was essentially a carbon copy of the UK Of-

fice, and suffered slightly as a result, Parks & Rec does too. Leslie Knope, the affable Deputy Director of the department, was just a female Michael Scott and the kind of stale, one-note storyline of trying to turn a pit into a park didn’t allow for any of the secondary characters to shine. But then, like The Office US, it found its own voice and blossomed from there. What Parks & Recreation does so well is character progression. When it gives these characters the time to shine, which it fails to do in Season One, they really come into their own. “Practise Date” is the episode when it becomes less “The Leslie Knope Show” and more an ensemble comedy. As the gang dig up dirt on each other, the laughs just come thick and fast, particularly when Jerry (a constant source of fun poking) doesn’t want to play but has numerous dark secrets revealed. Watching these characters grow and grow to the point where they’re almost unrecognisable in earlier episodes is fascinating and exemplifies the strong writing this show has become known for. Ron Swanson in particular (who will become your new favourite

666 Park Avenue


Chris Taylor


ITV2, Tuesday 10pm

n this post-Sopranos world, it’s easy to forget that all American TV drama doesn’t have to be nuanced, clever and glossily made for you to get your kicks. 666 Park Avenue is a supernatural drama, the plot anchored in a ‘monkey’s paw’ device. Essentially, residents of the titular apartment building can ‘rent’ their ideal life, for an unavoidable price, which means they wind up eternally damned. Or, I should say, sucked ridiculously through a letterbox to hell. It’s a Faustian morality tale crossed with 90210 - a sort of silly PG-rated American Horror Story. The pilot saw squeaky clean young professional Jane and her boyfriend Henry get taken on as the new managers of creepy but luxuriant apartment building The Drake. The building’s previous managers, they are soon told by a ‘Tower of Terror’ style bellhop, have ‘moved to someplace warmer’ (Hell. He means hell, guys). Jane is a beautiful, clever and cheerfully unemployed architect, who immediately throws herself into earnestly learning about the building’s history. As such, she must now go on a character arc wherein she sleeps with most of the building - whilst simultaneously uncovering The Drake’s satanic secrets - before inevitably getting murdered. For that is the way of all so-bad-it’sgood drama. Silliness highlight comes in the form of Terry O’Quinn (‘John Locke from Lost’) as Gavin Doran, the building’s owner and the show’s incarnation of Satan. By day he’s an affable golf-playing property tycoon, but by night he’s at the foot of your bed with a machine gun, mafia-style, saying “you’ve made me very, very disappointed’. 666 Park Avenue is silly, soapy, ridiculous supernatural popcorn drama at the top end of the guilty pleasure spectrum. Lydia Carroll

TV character, I guarantee that) progresses from a brick wall of a man to a cuddly teddy bear yet still packs in so many one liners, you’ll have to pause the show to catch your breath. Jokes aren’t entirely focused on the bureaucratic side of things either. From Aziz Ansari’s Tom Haverford setting up an entertainment business with the amazing (only ocassional) recurring character Jean Ralphio, to Andy’s adorable stupidity, none of the jokes are made with malice but are all absolutely hilarious. Parks & Recreation is how comedy should be. It’s entirely uncynical and unpretentious. I liken it to The Muppet Show a lot because it’s a show about friendship and having fun, but with a bellyful of laughs along the way. Seriously, give this show a shot. If you don’t like Season One, please carry on anyway. Especially when Rob Lowe and Adam Scott are introduced, the show becomes something entirely unlike what it used to be, and it only gets better from there.

Geordie Shore

BBC1, Sunday - Thursday 9pm

MTV, Tuesday 10pm

t is not the first time that the BBC has aired a major drama series across a single week– last year the channel did the same with its True Love series of self-contained romantic stories. Mayday, however, is a series of connected dramas all held together by a single element – the eerie village’s missing 14 year-old May Queen. The disappearance of the girl sparks a series of guilty suspicions in the villagers, who all suspect friends and family members of the crime, yet for differing reasons, are still reluctant to come forward. A wife suspects her husband but has her reputation to protect. A son suspects his father but is afraid of being alone. A brother suspects his brother but has too much to lose. A mother of three tries not to suspect her husband because it would destroy her children. Writers Ben Court and Caroline Ip (who have both written previously for Whitechapel – they know a thing or two about murdering women. In dramas, I should add) have spoken about how the rural setting is a reaction against creating yet another urban murder-mystery. They wanted the location to be atmospheric yet refreshing; so Mayday is as far removed from the forensic lab or the courtroom as possible. Instead, the setting is the Sussex downs, meaning we get Wicker Man reminiscent folklore and the echoes of paganism. They’ve described the series as taking place ‘on the edge of a police investigation’, allowing the focus to be on the emotional realities of the suspects, and the suspicious. As it’s being directed by Brian Welsh - who can certainly lay serious claims to ‘exposing unnerving emotional truths’ after directing Black Mirror’s excellent ‘The Entire History of You’ episode – it will likely make gripping, if sometimes uncomfortable, viewing. Lydia Carroll

eordie Shore’s branching out. The soupedup Corsa of the reality television world, partly responsible for crafting a generation of spiced up chavs while celebrating the very crudest of the sunbed born Geordie gal, the simpletons who are merely vehicles for spreading STD’s around the cosmopolitan metropolis of Newcastle are now to be let loose on tour. A cultural pursuit this is not Karl Pilkington looks set to hand over the mantle, and let this group of orange dimwits happily showcase the real definition of ‘idiot’s abroad’. Queue claims of having a degree in ‘pulling woman’. Its series five, and they’re going on holiday, not one of those 12 minute ones scattered around the city either. It’s Europe; Tigres, Prague, Amsterdam and Barcelona to be precise. Newcastle’s illustrious nightlife has been well and truly exhausted by the motley crew, especially in terms of the programme’s trademark format. ‘Gaz’ pulls a fame greedy drunk, Scott pulls her friend and Dan watches on in awe. Holly’s in tears, Charlotte’s wet herself and they’re both home early to bitch about Gaz and James, kebab in tow of course. Sophie’s fighting with Vicky, Vicky’s fighting with Ricci and Ricci’s fighting adulthood. And James, well James is just being James. It’s time for some European culture, of sorts, to spark some variety into the monotonous ritual that’s taken over nights in the toon. The first episode carries on in the usual vein, beginning with Charlotte proclaiming, ‘I’m free, I’m single, and I’m ready for my clit to tingle”; an ominous start before the customary Geordie fun commences. Question is, will we see more of the same vacuous antics from the testosterone, trollied toons, or will the tables turn in Europe?



Jack Thomas

The Courier


Monday 4 March 2013 | @courier_tv

It’s time to take things slow

Enough flashy quick cuts and explosions every five minutes - shows such as Breaking Bad and Utopia are slowing things down with nuanced drama. Juliet Dunstone tells us why we should support this cause


or as long as I can remember, although I grant that isn’t that long, television has been dominated by fast paced dramas and thrillers. This reflects the modern trend of many box-office hits; if you haven’t got an explosion every few minutes and at least one protagonist emerging relatively unscathed from a forty foot drop, your film will probably be branded chickflick, granny-flick or ‘art cinema’. It does make for some very compelling viewing, and a lot of traditional crime thrillers just wouldn’t be as enjoyable without a lot of sweat and someone kicking down a door. Recently however, there has been a shift from edge-of-your-seat thriller to a new breed of slower, edgier drama. This isn’t any less exciting-in fact it’s more intense-as this de-

layed gratification keeps your heart constantly in your mouth and can be almost unbearable. Take Charlie Brooker’s Black Mirror for example, now back for its second run, or the new Channel 4 series Utopia. While they certainly contain violence and adult content, there are few car chases or shoot-‘em-ups and, when there are, they seem like sudden violent explosions with so much more impact. Instead, the episodes unfold slowly and with a sense of foreboding that you just don’t get in something like Spooks. The new one-off feature from Guy Hibbert, Complicit (which we reviewed last week), is a prime example of this, with familiar ground covered at an unfamiliar, and intentionally slow, pace. This change has been brewing for a while in

‘grown-up’ television, with slow burning plots and psychological unease common in programmes like Silent Witness. Does the spread of this into shows specifically aimed at a younger audience reflect a wider change in the way we view television? And is this a change for the better? I’m inclined to say that I prefer this new style of deliberately drawn out drama, but maybe this is because I missed the boat a little bit on 24, and never developed a lust for action in the same way other people did. I find the gradual build up in Utopia far more effective in ramping up the tension than anything on a more ‘traditional’ drama. While I may not be shouting at the television or cheering when the good guys win, I’m definitely not any less consumed by the action. In fact I’m more likely to be sitting transfixed in absolute silence, utterly captivated by what’s in front of me. I like this kind of television; it makes you feel and it makes you think. Of course there’s still a huge place for drama that goes in all guns blazing, and there always will be. For a start, a lot of people love it. If you’re a Die Hard fan you’re not going to want to sit through an hour and a half of pretentious landscape shots and agonisingly slow plot reveals. Secondly, if you’ve only got an hour to open and shut a murder case, you can’t fill most of that slot with swollen silences and brooding heroes, or that ever-so-edgy on the toilet scene (think Jodie Foster in Panic Room, or the new series of Black Mirror). Whether you think this new pace is smart and intense, and distances television drama from its mind-numbing cousin, the video-game; or find it tedious and a little too far up its own rear end, there’s no denying that television is evolving. Whether it will be survival of the fastest, or slow and steady that wins the race, only time will tell. I’m hoping for a little bit of both.

Would you risk it for a chocolate biscuit? TV is stuck in a rut of recommissioning old shows, translating popular shows from abroad (let us not speak of The Inbetweeners US) and recycling tired old formats. Grace Harvey asks whether producers and writers should be taking more risks


here’s a current trend at the moment of recomissioning old programmes back onto prime-time TV but truth be told, shows such as American classic Dallas should realise they were taken off air for a reason. Even worse, the so-called new and innovative programmes are actually little more than a transatlantic translation of Britain’s finest, Shameless being one of them, even if it has lost its way recently. But the icing on the cake remains with the fact that even new commissions generally end up being either the same old predicable game of Cluedo or a half-arsed attempt at a historically inaccurate period drama. I’m not suggesting that TV is boring, but it is without doubt becoming harder and harder to find something new and innovative that’s relatively easy to engage with. Channel Four has earned their reputation as a great champion of innovative television and being generally unafraid to take risks with their broadcasts. Programmes like Utopia, hit and miss comedy like Cardinal Burns, or even Charlie Brooker’s Black Mirror are all fresh and original but could as easily crashed and burned. Their content and production offer something that is truly new, yet it as often creeps over “the line” which somehow ironically perpetuates their position as ground-breaking television. But it’s this willingness to tackle this metaphorical line of banal brain-mush television, and the refusal to cower behind Ofcom recommendations that proves what can be achieved when broadcasters are prepared to take a small risk. The counter argument to this is two-fold: obviously channels and broadcasters are as much a business enterprise as they are a cultural endeavour, and their willingness to gamble with programming inevitably will be based on endless-pages of overly complicated maths. Sky Atlantic seem to

have marked themselves as contemporary leaders of new and exciting television, producing programmes like Boardwalk Empire with incomprehensible budgets and truly stellar casts but their risks tend to be more financial than creative. Unless they can secure regular viewers in the case of series or advertisers, executives are unlikely to risk their cash. Yet, some critics have claimed there’s something greater at stake than a bank balance, and have attempted to suggest programmes like Black Mirror are “pseudo-intellectual” and inclusive to the young, above-average intelligent, probably middle class but definitely hipster wannabe. Not only is this patronising, it’s completely absurd and has most likely been the response of some middle aged berk in a flat cap. Whether sparking

outrage or inspiring creativity, these programmes gamble with both the boundaries of acceptable viewing and audience expectations proving how integral it is for television to demonstrate some sort of creativity within social relevance. Sure, each channel needs to balance the books, yet I just don’t see this as a real excuse for repetitive television (although ITV’s recent endeavour Splash proves that sometimes a good idea just doesn’t work out and will inevitably cost you a small fortune). I’m not even sure what these programmes would, or even should, look like but broadcasting executives really need to start producing innovative programmes and need to be prepared to take more risks, even if this means it doesn’t always pay off.

Lights, Camera, Strike Action

As BBC Breakfast is replaced by the likes of Heir Hunters and the cuts start coming down hard, Joe Tetlow asks what exactly is going on over at Broadcasting House?


n the 18th of February, a number of notable journalists were absent from our screens and airwaves as part of a 24-hour walk-out, called by the National Union of Journalists (NUJ). The slight disruption to BBC services was the result of a dispute over compulsory redundancies, with many employees “angry” and “frustrated” at the handling of cuts within the corporation.

In what was a bizarre morning for audiences, repeats were played on Radio 4, with listeners surprised to hear the recovering Andrew Marr on the airwaves instead of John Humphries and the popular Today programme. In place of BBC Breakfast with Bill Turnbull and Susanna Reid, viewers were strangely greeted by Tim Wonnacott and his Bargain Hunt team (they can’t even afford Dickinson these days). This was followed not by news of any sort, but by an Escape to the Country special on horse friendly houses; so no respite for horses then. The long faces didn’t stop there though. Picket lines were formed outside BBC offices across the UK. But as the (ever insightful) Daily Mail pointed out, the sparsely populated protesters had all gone home by 5pm. Perhaps like Turnbull and Humphries, they don’t like Mondays either. One journalist on The World at One said “there are so many die-hard Lefties in senior positions at the BBC you can’t afford to get on the wrong side of. So while we might not actually want to strike, some of us are scared to cross the picket line in case we damage our careers”. Although the licence fee payer won’t be marching on broadcasting house anytime soon,in support of the 30 or so “experienced” journalists facing redundancy, the industrial action marks another public embarrassment for overpaid BBC executives who are accused once again of mismanagement. The NUJ has called for a suspension on all job cuts at the BBC for a six-month period, to allow for negotiations with the incoming director general, Lord Hall. The publicly funded broadcaster has cut 7,000 jobs since 2004 and is known to be cutting approximately 2,000 jobs as part of its ‘delivering quality first’ (DQF) agenda, by 2017. Perhaps the BBC could learn a thing or two when it comes to shifting expensive antiques off the top from Tim Wonnacott and his savvy bargain hunters.


Monday 4 March 2013

The Courier

Film Editors: Hayley Hamilton and Sam Hopkins Online Film Editor: Chris Binding



Film guru Guillermo

Palme D’or Winners

5 The Tree of Life This Palme d’Or winner was the marmite of 2011 cinema. Many hated it for being it for being too pretentious and abstract but for many others, myself included, it showed Terrence Malick was back to his best. Brad Pitt and Jessica Chastain are brilliant and this is the perfect arty film that Cannes appreciates.

4 Brief Encounter This classic from the acclaimed British director David Lean, won the award way back in 1946. A wonderfully, British film which is filmed beautifully in black and white; this sets the bar high for Lean films and he didn’t disappoint with his follow-ups such as Lawrence of Arabia and Doctor Zhivago.

Fairy tales for adults? Horror mastermind? Muneeb Hafiz discusses the unquestionable talent of Guillermo del Toro The quiet murmurs of eager anticipation surrounding the release of Pacific Rim are becoming louder and louder with each week that moves us towards its July 2013 premiere. With Guillermo del Toro as the mastermind behind the movie, critics and fans alike are expectant of a visually stunning production of mind-bending proportions. For del Toro is nothing short of just that, a master-mind. However, whilst his films are widely revered and celebrated, there seems to be a comparative neglect of the man himself. His boundless imagination, his extraordinary versatility, his wonderful disregard of genre convention to create films that are truly his own. These are just some of the foundations of del Toro’s magic. But where does his intrinsic cinematic quality of suspending all disbelief come from? Even imaginations as vivid and infinitely creative as del Toro’s have its influences; it is here that lies del Toro’s réson d’être. He lives to make films that exude flair, artistry and elegance. Quite suitably, Guillermo is as much influenced by art and literature as he is by auteurs of the past and present. An ambiguity of meaning and pervasive mythological iconography are consistent throughout, enhancing the impact of the on-screen universe. Similarly, while most children would sleep with stuffed teddy bears and other amiable creatures of the wild, little Guillermo fashioned a mutant werewolf to cuddle. Formative experiences that included a couple of exorcisms and frequent self-punishment have clearly had a role in the creation of the del Torian psyche. Films like The Devil’s Backbone (2001) and Pan’s Labyrinth (2006) exemplify the artistic, jarring,

perverse and brilliance of del Toro’s vision. However, the ingenuity of Toro transcends genre and in that sense is without boundary. The sheer scope of projects that del Toro has been a part of underlines his adequacy and competence within the film-verse. From a film as weirdly wonderful as Pan’s Labyrinth, to the comedic adventures of Megamind (2010), the magic touch of Guillermo has been felt. True, the role of consultant is arguably very different to that of director, nevertheless, it is del Toro’s passion for film and consequent versatility in project choice that is the value here. With a significant role, albeit a brief one, in the creation

Beloved Brits

3 The Pianist Powerful, emotional and an utterly unforgettable film. Adrien Brody is incredible as a Polish Jew living in Warsaw during the Nazi invasion and subsequent ghettoisation of the city. His struggle to survive coupled with the beautiful piano music creates a worthy entry into the vast canon of WWII films.

2 Apocalypse Now The definitive Vietnam film has inspired many more thanks to its sheer brilliance, quotable lines and the infamous ‘Ride of the Valkyries’ helicopter scene. Francis Ford Coppola hit the mark again just a few years after the first two Godfather films even with an overweight Marlon Brando causing radical changes to the ending.

1 Pulp Fiction Quentin Tarantino’s most famous film and one of his earliest is one of the most popular films of all time. Its witty, quotable script, dazzling cast and general slickness all round make this a real crowd pleaser and one of the coolest films to win the revered Palme d’Or award.

Jacob Crompton-Schreiber

With award season under way, Grace Harvey reminds us of some of the British treasures whose outstanding careers have contributed greatly to cinema Last weekend’s Oscars witnessed Jennifer Lawrence become the second youngest actress to win the great award at only twenty two years old. Unsurprisingly, Hollywood has since deemed her a national treasure comparable to the likes of the acting ‘greats’. Not only does this seem annoyingly hyperbolic, it’s just not true, and you only need to look at Britain’s collection of great actors to see why. Britain is privileged to house some of the finest acting talent to have graced the big screen, and the ever-growing collection of national treasures is a great testament to our contribution to culture. Amongst our nation’s favourites and most loved actors are a handful of individuals whose talent comprises over 300 years of acting experience and more awards and accolades (even a knighthood or two) than there is room to print. Some of the most notable names include the likes of Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen, and Maggie Smith. You’d be hard pushed to find any other actors to rival this talent, and from classic Shakespearean performances to X-Men, Harry Potter or the Da Vinci Code, you’d struggle to find any film without their presence or influence. Whilst many of us will inevitably recognise the great Patrick Stewart as Captain Jean Luc Picard, his on-screen presence is distinguished to say the least, and has racked up a library of honours and awards that don’t even make a dint in his talent. Yet despite his classical training, it was his performance as Charles Xavier, alongside fellow national treasure, Ian McKellen in the X-Men films that launched these two actors from Shakespearean greats to global superstars. Like Stewart, Ian McKellen’s acting history has included a few anomalies, for lack of a better word, and no one truly holds him wholly responsible for The Da Vinci Code - we’ve all got bills to pay I guess. Yet it’s instances like his role as Gandalf in The Lord of the Rings trilogy that not only intro-

duced his unspeakable talent to a new generation of film-goers but proves there are truly no words to adequately describe his influence and contribution to cinema. Accumulating over three academy awards, the Bafta fellowship and an endless array of Emmys, Golden Globes and Tonys, Dame Maggie Smith is possibly the finest example of British acting talent. Most of us will recognise her as the pointy hat wearing Scottish witch, Professor Minerva McGonagall from the Harry Potter series, yet Smith is not merely an acting treasure, but a cultural institution. Yes, this might sound ridiculous but there is no other way to describe her acting legacy or influence Some critics have suggested it’s almost sad that these acting greats have been reduced to the likes of The Lord of the Rings, or Harry Potter, but really these films have amplified their status and have entered the hearts of the youngest generation of cinema lovers.

of the Tolkienian middle earth seen in the current Hobbit trilogy, even the fantasy genre is no stranger to del Toro. Toro is an assured director just as much as he is a visual artist. There is a masterful quality about his work, about the worlds he envisions and justifies on the big screen, about the dark, sinister characters formed, and his ability to amalgamate numerous sources of influence to produce a result that succeeds on so many levels. It is perhaps a bold statement to argue Pacific Rim is worthy of its eager following, but with Guillermo del Toro as the commandeer, the odds are in his favour.


It’s competition time again! This time, win tickets for Robot & Frank, another entry in the overcrowded indie-sci-fi-geriatricheist-movie sub-genre

Set in the near future, the Sundance Film Festival award-winning Robot & Frank stars Frank Langella as an aging crook who finds himself being looked after by a domestic robot. Initially reluctant, the two find themselves planning a heist together. We have two tickets to see it at the Tyneside Cinema. Frank Langella portrayed which American President in a Ron Howard-directed film? a) Bill Clinton b) Richard Nixon c) George Bush Email your answer to before midday on Friday 8 to be in with a chance of winning. Robot & Frank opens at Tyneside Cinema on Friday 8 March

The Courier


Monday 4 March 2013 | @Courier_Film

Mama (15) Mama, produced by Guillermo Del Toro (director of Pan’s Labyrinth, Hellboy, and producer of the terrifying The Orphanage), bills itself as a shocking supernatural thriller, but although it tries hard it fails to achieve this. The film opens with a preface involving a father, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Game of Thrones, Headhunters), kidnapping his two estranged daughters and the family ending up stranded in the wilderness. Fast forward five years to the children being discovered living feral in a cabin in the woods. Uncle Lucas, (also played by Coster-Waldau), and his girlfriend, Annabel, (Jessica Chastain, Academy Award nominated for Best Actress for Zero Dark Thirty) struggle to raise his nieces, especially when faced with the rival ‘Mama’ - the ghost who ensured the children’s survival. As a custody drama, the film works, with Annabel initially being a stereotypical goth guitarist, but developing into a woman who neither wants nor asks for motherhood, but tries to deal with it anyway. With Chastain taking the lead, Coster-Waldau is left with little to do, which seems a waste of his

talent. The children, Victoria (Megan Charpentier) and Lily (Isabelle Nélisse) are excellent, being both creepy and yet believably challenged by their supernatural mother and their surrogate one in Annabel. One of the most touching moments comes from Annabel connecting with Lily, which relies on the actors to convey emotion, and not melodramatic music, which hampers the rest of the film. However the supernatural, which should be the film’s greatest strength, has mixed results. The director Andrés Mushietti expanded Mama from a 2008 short, and the shock and impact of those three minutes do not quite stretch to a whole film. While the supernatural is initially sparingly used to excellent effect when most unexpected - resulting in several jumping out of your seat moments - at other times it becomes laughable, with it being unclear whether this is intentional or accidental. There is nothing truly shocking, which given the subject matter and the backstory supplied to the ‘Mama’ spirit, there really should be. Additionally, the film never seems grounded enough for the supernatural to provide an appro-

priately horrific counterpoint. There are attempts to quicken the plot by skipping over details (Lucas’ car is impossibly nice for a self-employed graphic designer), which not only creates plot holes but damages characterisation. None of the characters are believably genre-savvy, and therefore Mama does have a by-the-book horror feel that make large chunks very predictable. Although it tries to make up for this with several plot twists in quick succession, having relied on horror tropes for so long, it’s too little too late. This results in a frus-

tratingly inconclusive ending which also ends too soon - the aftermath of the climax would be just as interesting as the majority of the film.

Cloud Atlas (15)

Lore (15)

Song For Marion (PG)

To The Wonder (12A)

Based on the award winning novel by David Mitchell, Cloud Atlas is an overly ambitious story which hasn’t translated smoothly onto the big screen. This film had not one, not two, but three directors spearheading its production- and clearly the collaborative efforts never became cohesive. I was honestly expecting more from the talent of the Wachowski siblings (The Matrix) and Tom Tykwer (Run Lola Run) but sadly everything about this film felt like an enormous undertaking on my half. Without any knowledge of the complexity of the book itself, Cloud Atlas was a really baffling ordeal to follow. The film lasts nearly three hours and the audience has to endure a hop-scotch style of pacing between six interconnected stories which are set over a 500 year timescale. Within these stories we have the same group of actors filling the shoes of on average 5 to 6 characters, so the experience becomes more of a ‘who’s who’ guessing game than an intellectual analysis of the literature. The makeup and prosthetics are also very hit-ormiss, reducing its characters to almost pseudoparodies of pop culture icons such as Jim Sturgess as Asian Spock or Hugo Weaving as a butch Mrs Doubtfire. It’s a distracting quality to have in a film that is clearly trying to preach to the audience the philosophical spew about how we’re all reincarnated spirits and somehow connected to one another. You can admire Cloud Atlas for its bravery in taking on such a gargantuan challenge of juggling so many different genres and storylines, however it never feels rewarding for the viewer.

The Führer is dead and the Nazi regime is falling. However this movie is not from the point of view of the soldiers or the Jews; Lore’s story is about five German children as part of the Hitler Youth, desperately seeking their family. Starring Saskia Rosendahl, Kai-Peter Malina (The White Ribbon) and Nele Trebs (My Prince. My King and The Door), this film is a good historic drama, written by Australian artist Cate Shortland (Somersault). Lore is the eldest of her siblings, 15, and uncertain about everything. She is in a state of flux between girl and woman - her leader is dead, she has no direction and her parents abandon her with her siblings. They must avoid the soldiers and get to their grandma’s; but this movie has little to do with survival. Lore, on the edge of girlhood, doesn’t understand her fabulous mother, or the things she does for money. She is unaware of her sexuality, shown beautifully by the endless dark roads and fields, the awkward attraction she has to the Jewish boy that helps them. Her baby brother Peter induces sympathy to ensure food, while she induces arousal. Lore must overcome her little white night dress and plaits to embrace womanhood; not just for the sake of her four younger siblings, but to show that the Hitler Youth, after their journey and after Hitler’s death, can grow to understand the world more.

Song for Marion is the latest film by director Paul Williams. Writer of other famous titles including London to Brighton, Cherry Tree Lane and 2004 short film It’s Okay to Drink Whiskey, he is a screenwriter who is renowned for his edgy story lines. 2010’s Cherry Tree Lane is a particularly graphic example, in which a couple find themselves terrorised by a group who are attempting to murder their son. However, Williams is mellowing with age and has chosen to create a mainstream and sentimental drama, full to the brim with coffin-dodging British stars like Vanessa Redgrave and Terence Stamp. Williams has aimed directly at the pensioner’s pockets keen to tap into this elderly market. The movie really bizarrely reminded me of The Full Monty, however I have no desire to see Vanessa Redgrave naked… but it wasn’t just crude humour from start to finish, it actually did tug on the heartstrings. It follows the story of Arthur (Stamp) the grumpy husband of terminally ill Marion (Redgrave). Her passion in life is singing in a local senior choir called OAPZ, which is run by music teacher Elizabeth (the ever-beautiful, graceful and perfect Gemma Arterton). The choir gives Marion purpose and a drive in her life - Arthur resents this but Marion urges him to join up. Have a wild guess at what happens next! If you enjoyed movies like Quartet or The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel then this is your type of flick.

VERDICT: Lore is beautifully shot and its realism in this strange coming of age story is striking. The constant need to touch, feel and hold everything around Lore, natural and human, shows how going from girl to woman can be hard, even without soldiers after you.

VERDICT: The reason why I went to see this film was because I’m literally obsessed with Arterton at the moment, but at the end of the day it just wasn’t my type of film. I’m certain I’d get major brownie points if I took my Grandparents to see it though. A better investment of £5.75 would definitely be in Sam Jacks.

To the Wonder is a doubtful film by the Tree of Life director Terrence Malick, which focuses on the spectrum of love and attachment to god. It features the renowned Ben Affleck (Argo) who plays Neil, an American who falls in love with a French woman named Marina played by Ogla Kurylenko (Quantum of Solace) and focuses on their attempts to maintain a loving relationship whilst challenged by Neil’s past. Javier Bardem also makes an appearance as Father Quintana, a troubled man searching for faith. It’s a film you’ll either love or hate. If you’re looking for drama, look elsewhere, but if you appreciate stunning photography alongside excellent music, you’ll admire it. Artistically it was spectacular but, ultimately, it wasn’t substantial. The film lacked any progression in character development and plot as every character finished where they started - searching for love or god. The feeling of instability was also overplayed with every character annoyingly and repeatedly folding their arms and expressing anxious looks. Action also spoke louder than words as Malick questionably decided to make dialogue non-existent, using speech sparingly and as a form of narration for expressing the mentality of the characters. Abstractly, the film delivered the volatility of love, and the character’s indecisive actions excellently paralleled with such feelings. Yet, it still lacked any interesting content and essentially resulted in being no more than a landscape showcase to glorify the cinematography.

Aisha Din

Dylan Healy

VERDICT: I can sympathise with the Academy for not giving Cloud Atlas any recognition. It fails across the board as a film. The performances are sketchy at times (Tom Hanks has probably offended the country of Ireland). It is a unique and daring film; however its execution fell flat. Luke Hearfield

VERDICT: Mama has an interesting setup, and an excellent cast, but in conforming to several genre tropes and wanting to be both a slick thriller and a family drama, manages only temporary scares and fails to have any lasting impression. Alex Morgan

VERDICT: Malick overdid himself as this film felt repetitive and empty. He also underplays his best talent, such as Javier Bardem’s acting which mistakenly was only utilised in a few scenes.

Marcus Redgrave

The Courier


Monday 4 March 2013

Science Editor: James Simpson

Hadron Collider halted

The Large Hadron Collider (LHC), is the most powerful and ambitious physics experiment. Thomas Lundy looks at why it has been given hiatus status for the next two years


ubmerged 175m underground, straddling the border of France and Switzerland, the LHC is a product of billions of pounds, 15 years of planning and the work of thousands of scientists and engineers. Operating the LHC is CERN (European Organisation for Nuclear Research), the world’s largest international physics organisation, whose goal is to supply the particle accelerator facilities needed to carry out high-energy physics research. The LHC is CERN’s particle accelerator, and has been providing vast amounts of data since it began running in 2009. The concept of a particle accelerator is simple; particles are fired around a 27km tube at ridiculously high speeds, and forced to crash into each other. The tunnels themselves are vacuums, with conditions tailored to recreate those of the universe at its earliest stage. Due to the super high energy levels of the accelerated particles upon collision, and the speed at which they are travelling (11,000 circuits per second) the energy created upon impact is staggering. By studying the fallout of these collisions, scientists hope to uncover new information about the laws of physics. In July 2012, they did just that. The discovery of a particle consistent with the elusive Higgs boson, popularised by the media as the “God particle”, was widely

celebrated in the scientific community and beyond as vindication of the resources invested in the LHC. The Higgs boson was the last particle to be described in the “Standard Model”, which describes every particle we know and their interactions. Clearly the LHC has been making exciting progress in physics. Their effort to find and describe the Higgs Boson is just one research project currently undertaken at CERN. Along with the CMS and Atlas projects there’s ALICE; investigating and re-creating post big bang conditions by causing collision induced temperatures 100,000 times hotter than the sun, in the hope that tiny particles “melt” to form the liquid state of matter at that time; and LHC Beauty, who’s aim is to investigate the existence of antimatter by studying a particle termed the “beauty quark”. Billions of pounds, nearly 3 years of exciting research and with plenty more to come, why is the LHC taking this hiatus? As it turns out, due to technical faults with the accelerator soon after it was first switched on, the LHC has only ever run at half the levels it was designed for. The break, termed Long Shutdown 1, will allow the machine to be run at 14 TeV in 2015, compared to 7Tev in 2011. This will be the highest energy collisions

ever attempted, lending to the argument that the 2 year repairs will ultimately be worth the wait. This, however, will not stop uncomfortable questions being posed: at £95m a year from the UK alone, are we getting enough to justify

the expense? Whilst the signs are promising, who’s to say that after 2 years of repair work the LHC won’t fail to provide scientific discoveries of appropriate magnitude? Only time will tell.


inusitis is a condition affecting around 10% of the adult population in the UK. With symptoms including blocked nose, nasal discharge, recurrent headaches and loss of sense of smell it can make a sufferer’s day pretty miserable (for people who have to sit next to them sniffing through lectures!). Caused by bacterial infection in the nasal passage, Sinusitis has traditionally been treated by antibiotic and steroid sprays, but these aren’t always effective. Once a bacterial population hits a certain number the cells produce a sticky web of DNA that binds them together and acts as a shield protecting them from the antibiotics. Scientists doing research at Newcastle University have found an alternative treatment that they think might be more successful. The researchers were originally looking for a method to stop bacteria growing on ships when they discovered NucB, an enzyme produced by the marine bacteria Bacillus licheniformis. NucB dissolves the strands of DNA that bind bacterial colonies together,

and so if applied to infections in the nose it can disperse the bacteria and with them get rid of the symptoms of sinusitis. Although the enzyme will have to go through extensive testing before its deemed safe for the public market, if it does pass all these tests it could have many other potential medical applications, including being added to toothpaste to fight against bacteria that cause tooth decay and to prevent infections in artificial joints. So with this in mind, keep your eyes peeled for bacteria infused tissues coming to a Boots near you! Anwen Bowers

Photo: Flickr



Autism is a condition which is extremely difficult to diagnose and one that not many people understand (including medical professionals). Samantha Softley explains exactly what it is and how it can be treated


Photo: Wikimedia

Achoooo... Au serious?

Researchers at Newcastle University have done research into how a marine microbe can be stuck up your nose to prevent those nasty sniffles

Bacteria modification is not new technology. In fact it’s used all the time in ways you wouldn’t even know. Science Editor James Simpson reveals how bacteria could make us millions


arming bacteria for useful products is extremely beneficial and good business. It is also quite old technology and has been going on for years in the form of insulin production and other methods which I’ll go on to discuss. They provide an extremely high yield in such a small space and very cheaply. This is very good news for entrepreneurial microbiologists. You can imagine the excitement when scientists discovered that under the right conditions and with the right substances, there is a breed of bacteria that produce gold. Yes you heard right, gold! Basically what scientists have discovered is by exposing the bacteria to toxic and harmful conditions, which would usually kill other bacteria, but what is unique is that these microbes produce 24-carat gold. Imagine how amazing it would be if whenever we got stressed we started excreting golden nuggets. It literally is something of fairytales. (Jack and the Beanstalk and the gold-laying hen) So with this in mind lets take a look at what else bacteria can be used for. Apart from the obvious products such as insulin, bacteria can be modified to make fuel. Converting crops into alcohol by fermentation can actually power certain cars especially over in the states. We’ve all heard of the deadly bug

E.coli. But how many people actually knew that E.coli is used to produce insulin for diabetic patients. Global warming is a huge problem at the moment and some of the bacteria can actually help combat this by targeting carbon dioxide and converting it into less harmful products, this saving the precious ozone layer and all those fluffy polar bears and penguins. Money doesn’t grow on trees but with the right gene expression and bacteria we are growing ever closer.

Photo: Flickr

utism is an ‘umbrella term’ that defines a range of developmental conditions spanning a vast spectrum. One end of the spectrum is deemed the lower functioning, and the other end being the higher functioning. There are three main areas that autistic people have difficulty with – social interaction, communication and imagination. People with autism may suffer from oversensitivity to certain stimuli and they may exhibit repetitive and obsessive behaviours. Autism is a lifelong condition, for which there is no known cure. Males are more likely to develop it than females. Those diagnosed with low functioning autism will struggle with many aspects of life and may need constant care. Sometimes, those with lower functioning autism are not able to communicate very well at all. In many cases, a person with lower functioning autism may need more time for thought processing. However, those diagnosed with higher functioning autism are more capable of day to day tasks, but struggle greatly with social aspects of life. People with high functioning autism are often perfectly capable of speech, however holding an appropriate conversation is challenging for them. The cause of autistic spectrum condition is unknown, but it usually becomes noticeable in the earlier years of life, usually from about 18 months onwards. The diagnosis of autism is usually very long winded, due to the wide range of symptoms. It is thought that there is a genetic factor involved, yet it is thought that the environment also plays a role. Because the cause of autism is unknown, developing a cure has been impossible so far. At the moment, there are only some medical treatments and coping mechanisms that can ease the symptoms. However, scientific research is underway. The brain of an autistic person is different to that of a neurotypical. Certain neurons are defective in an autistic person’s brain and it is thought that if we are somehow able to modify neuron pathways, we will be able to help to ease the symptoms. A treatment called Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation may be able to do this! It is currently used to treat stroke, schizophrenia and depression. It works by emitting a low direct current via electrodes into the brain to improve neuron connections. Research is underway to find out whether this can improve the social ability of people with autism. Much more research is going on behind the scenes to hopefully find a cure for autism. This is just one example. So, in a nutshell; Autism is a developmental condition, the cause is unknown and hence there is no cure. Research is underway to find the cause of autism, potential coping mechanisms and hopefully a cure. It is agreed that the earlier the intervention, the better.


Monday 4 March 2013


The Courier

Puzzles Editors: Tom Nicholson and Sally Priddle

Win a £4 MensBar voucher*

Find yourself stumped? Check out The Courier’s website next week for the solutions

Busy day? Have a sit down, grab a coffee and unwind with this week’s puzzles - and return them to the Courier office to have a chance of winning drinks at MensBar Be the first to work out which celebrities these pictures

Crossword 1




spell out to win a £4 Mens Bar Voucher





8 +

9 10 11






14 15 17





18 19







1Konnie, ex-Blue Peter presenter (3) 3, 8, 10 down Former presenter of Get Your Own Back and generally lovely, bubbly man (4, 6-8) 9 Cunning; artfulness; skill (5) 11 Port in northern France (2, 5) 13 Boat or ship built primarily for pleasure cruising (5) 15 Traditional Alpine singer generally imagined to be at home in lederhosen and stood next to a big horn (8) 17 At once (6) 19 Instrumental category of a flute (8) 20 The landed nobility of a society (6) 21 Drama series following several oversexed teens who took too many drugs and stared into the middle distance a lot (5) 24 Fred Flintstone’s catchphrase (13)


1 To negotiate price (6) 2 Savoury open-topped pastry dish which is filled with eggs, milk and either fish, vegetables or meat (6) 4 Method by which base metals may be turned into gold (7) 5 Dense black wood (5) 6 Bowie and Roxy Music collaborator, Brian ___ (3) 7 King who, legend says, stuck a throne on a beach and told the tides to turn around (4) 10 See 3 across 12 French Enlightenment thinker (8) 14 Zayn Malik’s home city (8) 16 Twistable apparatus for opening the entrance to a room (8) 17 Rudimentary video game (4) 18 O3; makes up layer of atmosphere (5) 22 Intellectual, socially impaired person; patron of Games Workshop (4) 23 Alan Partridge’s catchphrase; Swedish pop export (3)


3 5 9


8 4 3 4


7 4


2 9

7 8



1 2 4 8

9 5 2

4 5 6

*The first person to bring the completed crossword or Picture-makey-phrase to The Courier office in the Students’ Union will be awarded the £4 prize

The Courier


Monday 4 March 2013

Buss bucks trend of bosses Julia Dwyer discusses the different perceptions of owners of sports teams As someone who was raised in Boston, Massachusetts during the Paul Pierceera of the Celtics, I have a particular passion for the NBA team I root for and a particular hatred for our archenemy — the Los Angeles Lakers. Yet, a week ago when news broke that Jerry Buss, Los Angeles Lakers’ flamboyant owner passed away, I was solemnly reminded of the important contributions that an owner like Buss makes to the NBA and the future of sports alike. For a longtime, the Lakers’ identity was largely defined by having Buss as an owner. Buss took ownership in 1979, and in the time-span of over thirty years, brought multiple innovations to the game. In Buss’s first year as owner, he founded the first all-female dance team to offer entertainment, which has since become standard amongst every NBA team in the league. Buss also pioneered the idea of court side seating, so now the joy of being almost a part of the game can be a reality for a few wealthy high-profile celebrities. Yet, it was Buss’s contribution to the entertainment of basketball that will forever be his legacy, beyond producing championship-winning teams and cheerleaders. Buss pioneered the show-

some owners aren’t as ‘good’ as Jerry. Not only was I raised on the Celtic’s, but I’m also pretty sure I was born with red sox on. John Henry, the owner of the Red Sox, has been a household name for years. When you are the owner of one of the biggest baseball franchises in the world, you know you have a lot of Bostonians judging your every move. Henry has been heavily criticized since become a foreign investor with the purchase of the Liverpool Football Club nearly two years ago (a team that is more familiar around these parts than back in Boston.) The PR management tried desperately to introduce the notion of Liverpool football to Americans with the Clive Owen narrated-series “Being: Liverpool,” but with both the Red Sox and Liverpool in an absolute tailspin at the time, no one was really buying it. Henry is splitting his time between two teams that both require his full attention. This has not boded well with fans back in Boston, who are angry that Henry is paying more attention to watching football than to building up the faltering Red Sox. For owners like Henry, the power of the purse can only go so far before results reveal the cracks

“It was Buss’ contribution to the entertainment of basketball that will forever be his legacy” manship of sports; suddenly the line between Hollywood entertainment and sports was one that was blurred. While Buss’s loss has sent shock waves over the NBA community, it has also put focus back on the position at the top of the food chain in sports. Owners take on a persona of their own, and lets just say,

in the foundations. But while Henry is struggling with two parallel debacles, there are a slew of other foreign owners in U.K. football that have raised a number of eyeballs and have caused many fans to feel uneasy. Many local fans have doubts about

Boston Red Sox and Liverpool owner John W Henry Photography: Getty Images

foreign owners due to their obvious differences in backgrounds of football cultures. Due to these palpable dissimilarities, some supporters worry that owners are merely purchasing a club purely for the profit. These differences can also lead to a lack of understanding of the storied history of a club. Cardiff City’s Malaysian owners pushed a change in club colours from the traditional blue to red because it was “luckier.” Beyond misunderstandings in tradition, foreign owners can often be uncommunicative and supportive with their fans. Manchester United fans have had a gripe with the New York based Glazer family ownership that has gone so far to cause a widespread protest movement amongst fans. The support-

Back of the net Video of the week

Spot the ball

Testing times


1) Malcom Glazer owns Manchester United. What NFL team does he own? 2) Which famous female chef owns part of Norwich City FC? 3) In what year did Roman Abramovich beocme involved with the ownership of Chelsea FC? 4) Paul Allen, the original no.2 guy at Microsoft, owns a NFL and NBA team? Can you name either? 5) Jay-Z is the minority owner of which NBA team? &list=PLHiIQZxo087HYBwH4r12ceOXPaSMM1N _e Just a reminder that Southern Hemisphere Rugby

can be pretty good as well with an amazing passage of play finished by Williams.

Tweet of the week

- Phil McNulty - @Philmcnulty “Every bit of frustration & anger built up inside Benitez from those jeers on day one simply exploded at Middlesbrough last night.” (28 Feb) The chief football writer for the BBC comments on Rafael Benitez’s rant at the Chelsea fans and owner after last Wednesday’s match against Middlesbrough .

1.) Tampa BayBucaneers; 2.) Delia Smith; 3.) 2003; 4.) NFL- Seattle Seahawks NBA- Portland Trail Blazers 5.)Brooklyn Nets

Tim Nanai-Williams - Two Amazing tries

Long shot of the week So with Rafa confirming he is leaving Chelsea at the end of May, the specualtion ensues as to who will be their next manager. Jose Mourinho is the favourite but how about go for an outsider in Michael Laudrup, who led Swansea into their first ever major Cup final in his debut season and went on to beat Bradford in the final. (Odds from Sky Bet)

ers claim the Glazer family will senselessly sell the Man United brand to anyone willing to buy and has plunged the club into debt, all the while rarely visiting grounds or communicating with supporters in their needs. This lack of transparency breeds insecurities amongst the long-time supporters for there is a break in the connection between community and football. These fears have bearings on the future as well, as many feel as if foreign owners will steer football away from its once local charm. Not only does being an owner of a Premier League guarantee inevitable revenue and a sense of power, but it also gives one liberty to eventually take the game where the owner would want to see the game played. This pos-


1 2 3 4 5 6



sible outcome means that football clubs may be travelling further, but at the cost of losing their local roots. Ultimately, some foreign owners tend to sacrifice the long-standing traditions of English football for the sake of international and financial interests. Being an owner may come with the built in bonus of being a successful and wealthy individual, but this should not be the reason for a complete alienation from the supporters and the team that one owns. In the day and age when it’s considered just another business model to add owner to a slew of other highpowered positions, many at the top tend to forget about the aspects of sports that matters the most.





Monday 4 March 2013

The Courier

Uni backdrop it while it’s hot Trampolining

Newcastle’s Trampolining Team celebrate their succesPhotography: Stu Walker

By Sophia Berry in Sheffield Last week, Newcastle University Trampolining Team returned from Sheffield with a bronze medal and a haul BUCS points following a successful weekend at the biggest competition of the season. With two nights of extravagant hotel accommodation, several hours spent being expertly chauffeured in a brand new mini-bus, a curry to top all curry’s, and of course some bouncing in between, this was undoubtedly the most enjoyable, and most fruitful, competition of the year so far for Newcastle’s trampoliners. Stu Walker was the shining star of the weekend, gaining a bronze medal in the BUCS Three final. Ali Hardy, who only started trampolining for the first time in September, also impressed with a seventh place finish in BUCS 4 final. This was a brilliant achievement from the newbie. Separate from the men, the girls took a team through to the final. This comprised of Frankie McKever, Livvy Coombs and Sophia Berry. Individually, Sophia and Livvy ended up in 4th and 13th respectively, having competed against some 95 competitors in BUCS 3 – undoubtedly not a bad day’s bouncing. Frankie unfortunately didn’t manage to get through her routine. It was thought that this perhaps had something to do with all that disaronno the night before! However, she still did well enough for the girls team to finish 8th overall, gaining valuable BUCS points for the University. Some excellent crashing out also needs to be reported, particularly from Greg Lymar who pulled off a spectacular first routine, but was unable to get through his second. Despite this, he still only just finished outside the top 12. Barney Gush is also worthy of a mention. He pulled off an extraordinary feat of ‘on the spot genius’, turning his backdrop into a cradle and still managing the front somersault at the end. This wasn’t quite enough to get him through to finals, although it probably warranted extra marks from the judges

for originality. On the Saturday night, the team went out for a curry. Despite the numerous different smart phones providing us directions, and about 6 phone calls to the

curry house, it still took the team nearly an hour to locate the building, with A LOT of driving on Doncaster Road. However, once inside the 5-course meal was thoroughly enjoyed, leav-

ing everyone extremely full aside from Jamie who couldn’t quite handle the heat of his chili korma! To finish the competition, BUCS 1 competed to a silent and awe struck arena, which made

great viewing for us amateurs. The weekend was a great success for the entire club. A huge thanks must go to Greg Lymar and Sophie Bown for making it all possible! Until next year...

Royals finish with a flourish Women’s Football Newcastle 1sts


Leeds Met. 1sts


By Anna Parkinson at Cochrane Park Fresh in the wake of a previous encounter between Newcastle Women’s Football Club and their Leeds Met counterpart just a week before that ended 3-3, the two sides met again in Newcastle’s final home game of the season with tensions running high. Club President Helen Palfrey, 1st team captain Steph Dalby, Lizzy Campbell and Alice Leadbeater were particularly tense for their last ever BUCS game at

Cochrane Park. Straight from the first whistle, Lizzy Campbell was determined to grab the game by the scruff of the neck. A quick interception and an excellent piece of link-up play with Victoria Scott lead to an early goal for the fired up hosts in game’s first five minutes. Buoyed by the early goal, the Royals proceeded to dissect the Leeds Met defence for the following fifteen minutes. Being overrun in the midfield and defence by NUWFC players eventually led to Leeds met making fatal passing errors between the defence. Campbell capitalised on the opportunity and successfully rounded the keeper to notch the game’s second goal. Perhaps the home sides were then guilty of taking their foot off the gas at this point, as Leeds Met’s determination momentarily brought them back into the game. The next 15 minutes became a tense

battle fought in midfield to gain ground. A quick break from a Leeds Met striker threatened the back four, but stand-out player Steph Dalby was on hand to deal with the situation. She then effortlessly lofted the ball into the path of Campbell

these were all overhit, squandering the chances. However outstanding player of the match Campbell did eventually make it four goals to the good, netting from a seemingly impossible angle on the

“Dalby effortlessly lofted the ball into the path of Campbell, who powered the third goal home” who powered the third goal home. Some gritty challenges by Leeds Met gave the Royals a number of free kick opportunities to extend their lead. However with setpiece specialist Esme Richards seemingly distracted by the rugby game taking place next door

stroke of half-time. A rousing half-time teamtalk by the coach led the Royals to begin the second period exactly as they had ended the first, with substitute Mary-Beth Sullivan scoring a howitzer of a fifth goal. Leeds Met then showed their frustra-

tion, as a goal saving tackle by Helen Palfrey resulted in an outrageous foul by the Leeds striker who had previously been denied. Despite calls for a red by the disgusted Royals back four, no card was given. Unfortunately, Palfrey was severely injured by the incident, and despite heroically attempting to continue, she was forced to call it a day. The hardened Royals became determined to meet every tackle with equal force and better skill. This determination was rewarded with a fine sixth goal by Vice-captain Helen Knott, ending any hopes of a Leeds Met comeback. The 6-0 scoreline was thoroughly deserved and was a fitting way to end a fantastic season for the Royals. Player of the Match: Lizzy Campbell

The Courier


Monday 4 March 2013

Cricketers sweep local rivals

Men’s Cricket

By Akshat Akarsh in Gosforth Newcastle University 1sts competed against Northumbria 1sts and Edinburgh 1sts and 2nds to qualify for the single place in the semi finals of the North Zone. This was a good test for Newcastle prior to the Stan Calvert clash, with both being played in the 6-aside indoor format. Newcastle won the toss and chose to bowl first. Hugo Snape bowled the 1st over and created the pressure straight away. Newcastle got their first wicket in the 2nd over from a good delivery from Alex Smith and a fantastic catch by Snape. Newcastle kept the pressure on and got the 2nd wicket run out due to mixup between batsman and a good presence of mind from wicket keeper Tom Huysinga. Newcastle’s bowling was tight but Edinburgh 2nd team got away with some nicks and edges to relieve pressure. Some good hitting from the middle order, with two batsmen scoring 25 each, saw Edinburgh get to a par score of 104-2 after the full ten overs. The target was 105 off 10 overs and Smith opened the batting with James Schofield. Edinburgh’s opening bowler bowled a very tight line but good batting display saw Newcastle score 55 runs after 4 overs for no loss and James and Alex retiring after scoring a quick 25 each, giving the team a solid start. The team captain Thomas Ulloytt walked in next with wicket keeper Huysinga, with just 30 runs needed off 4 overs. The pair quickly made 104 off 8 overs, however Ullyott was run out with only one run needed. Snape made sure of the victory

Newcastle won the match with 2 overs to spare by 5 wickets with Ullyott scoring 15. The 2nd match was against Edinburgh University 1st team. Edinburgh won the toss and chose to bat. Newcastle got their first wicket off the very first ball due to athletic fielding by captain Ullyott.

Newcastle’s Alex Smith Photography: Akshat Alkmar

How the rules differ During the winter, the BUCS format for cricket is an indoor 6-aside 10 overs match. Three runs are allocated for a wide or no ball, with the ball being counted, whilst a single is worth two runs . If the ball hits the side, it is equal to one run. In order to get a boundary, the ball must hit the net without touching any of the sides. The new pair for Edinburgh started to hit some good shots and score, however, Ullyott again made a run out. There were a further three run outs in the 8th and 9th overs, and Edinburgh must have been disappointed with the sloppy dismissals. Edinburgh scored 101-5 Berrill top scoring with 34 runs. Newcastle needing 102 to win off 10 overs and Alex Smith and James Schofield opened the batting. Schofield was run out in the first over, scoring just 5 runs with the score at 8-1. Ullyott walked to the crease, and a captain’s knock saw him at Smith retire after five overs, with the score at 54-1. Huysinga and Snape walked in with only 42 needed off 5 overs. Tight bowling from Edinburgh led to three wickets falling in quick succession despite Snape hitting a beautiful six. With 22 to win off 12 balls re-

tired batsmen Thomas Ullyott and Alex Smith walked in next. Some great batting from both set up a nail biting finish with Newcastle scoring 102-4 winning by two wickets. After these two victories Newcastle needed a win against Northumbria in order to go through to the semi-final. Newcastle won toss and batted first with the openers both getting 13 runs before getting out. Quick wickets fell with Ullyott being bowled for three

and Snape getting run out for the same score. Northumbria created pressure on Newcastle and a maiden over was played out with the score at 52-4 after 6 overs. Then superb batting from Tom Huysinga and Will Street got the team to a respectable total of 98-5 which still seemed to be 15-20 runs short of par. A great fielding display and bowling performance in a hotly contested local grudge match produced a great match to watch. Newcastle bowled them out

for 60 off 7.4 overs with Snape ending up with the best figures 2.4-0-18-3. Smith and Street also took wickets as this win over the Poly is a great boost for Newcastle with Stan Calvert Cup around the corner. Newcastle won all 3 playoff matches and have qualified for the north semifinals to be played at Headingley the 9th of March.

Golds galore for Uni rowers Rowing By Sally Hickey in Lincolnshire After a week of will-they-won’t-they regarding the flooding at Peterborough and a scramble to reschedule the event, BUCS IVs and VIIIs Head went ahead last weekend at the new location of Boston, Lincolnshire. Racing was split into two days, Saturday for the novices and Sunday for those calling themselves experienced oarsmen. Our novices sent out four crews, a men’s VIII and IV, and a women’s VIII and IV. In the first division the men’s VIII were putting down some strong strokes over the start line, so strong in fact that they managed to snap the handle off a blade (a pretty impressive achievement). As they had brought two spares with them, they were allowed to race for time in Division 2 (a time which was the fastest in their category), however, due to changes in the stream they were not eligible for a medal. The women’s IV were next, and after a very strong race they came in 14th place, which considering there were 29 boats in their category is a very impressive result. As Division 2 began, it became clear that the women’s VIII were a force with

which to be reckoned, and they crossed the finish line to come 4th, also an extremely encouraging result. The men’s IV were the last of the novices to race, and they screamed down the course to come 12th in their category. All of these results made for a brilliant Saturday, and all involved are hugely congratulated! Then suddenly, Sunday was upon us. As the frost nipped at our noses and marshalls nipped at our ears, boating began, with the women’s VIIIs and men’s IVs and quads boating first. With a lot of help from a few charming gentlemen in waders, the flooded landing stage was negotiated and we were on our way. It seemed to be an endless stream of Blue Star kit, sprinting the course and destroying the opposition, and the results soon filtered out. Gold medals for the Men’s Championship Coxless IV, Men’s Championship Coxed IV and Men’s Intermediate Coxed IV, three crews that blew the opposition out of the water with incredible racing. Next up was the Women’s Championship VIII, stroked by gold medal winning Youth Olympian Nicole Lamb, and behind her Gemma Hall, the fastest U23 lightweight woman in the country. They put in a fabulous race to claim a silver medal, pipped to the post by Cambridge. Silver also went to the Men’s Lightweight Coxless IV and Men’s Lightweight Quad, who both proved the heights to which our lightweight squad is reaching. The Women’s Intermediate VIII had a good race,

Some of Newcastle’s rowers in action Photography: NUBC

coming in 7th place in a tightly contested field, and the same for the Men’s Champ Coxless Quad, who came in at 11th place. Boats were scrambled back onto trailers and multipacks of jelly babies were demolished, and soon enough it was time to return to the water which, shockingly, was still as picture-perfect as the day before. Division 2 boated in record time, as there had been some issues regarding the timing in Division 1, but that will not be spoken of again.

First off were the ‘Big Dogs’ themselves, the Men’s Champ VIII. As the age old rivalry between clubs resurfaced yet again, it was not to be our day, and NUBC came in bronze medal position, behind very strong competition from Imperial and Durham. Next off were the Men’s Intermediate VIII, who had an absolute stormer of a race to win their category, and posted a time that would’ve put them in 4th place in the Champ event. Then was the turn of the women, whose Champ Coxed IV won

another gold medal, and a brilliant performance by the Women’s Lightweight Coxless IV to come home with a silver medal. The last race of the day was the Women’s Champ Coxless IV who raced home to come in 4th place, just a few seconds shy of a medal. So overall, it was a weekend of heartbreak for some and elation for many. As a club, we outperformed the rest of the field with some incredible racing and are now in top position on the BUCS points table.

Sport Monday 4 March 2013 Issue 1267 Free

Sports Editors: Ralph Blackburn, Nick Gabriel and Lucy Williams Online Sports Editors: Freddie Caldwell and Jack Gelsthorpe | @Courier_Sport

STAN CALVERT PREVIEW Agrics guilty of horsing around PULL-OUT INSIDE By Lucy Williams Sports Editor As previously reported in The Courier, the 2012/13 Intra Mural Rugby Union programme has failed to gain the same momentum and consistency as previous seasons. Before the Christmas break, the season was plagued with match cancellations and referee shortages, and although there is still a backlog of fixtures, the second term has seen more matches being played. However, the behaviour of the players for the Agric 2nds team at the Close House venue has caused another problem for the programme and resulted in the team being fined and expelled from the Intra Mural Rugby Union Cup. On Wednesday 20th February, a league fixture between the Agric 1sts and 2nds resulted in the latter being comprehensively beaten with a score of 36-0 to the 1sts. A tradition within the Agric society is for the losing team to jump into the lake at Close House, this lead to a majority of the Agric 2nds players running across

Stan Calvert issues finally ironed out By Freddie Caldwell Online Sports Editor There was some positive news for the Stan Calvert competition this week after the event’s potential cancellation was avoided and two sports that were due to be missed out were re-instated. This follows the news which The Courier reported a couple of weeks ago that women’s basketball and badminton would not compete due to Northumbria’s insistence on moving the event away from a neutral venue. Unsurprisingly, Northumbria were not pleased that these sports were not going to be contested but refused to back down and insisted that they be awarded the points for these games as they should go down as walkovers for Team Northumbria. It was this suggestion that proved impossible to stomach for the sporting powers at Newcastle, who made the decision to pull out of the event if this decision was not reversed.

It transpired that Northumbria were not willing to risk the cancellation of the entire competition, a decision that would no doubt have been hugely unpopular with students across both universities. This has led to arrangements being made for women’s basketball and badminton to be played at Gateshead International Stadium, which Northumbria had previously viewed as not fit for purpose. This is great news for those two sports clubs who had previously been resigned to not competing. Athletic Union Officer Laura Mason said of the decision: “It’s great that all of Team Newcastle is back together and that the clubs had a choice in what was going on”. During the difficult build up to this year’s varsity competition, Newcastle has tried to involve its clubs as much as possible in the decisions that it has made, although it appears that the choice to possibly cancel the event was a political one made at the top level. However, Newcastle sports clubs

still seem to be more involved in the decision-making process than those at Northumbria who are rarely consulted as to their views on the competition. This is evidenced by the fact that the Northumbria badminton team were unaware that their Newcastle counterparts had pulled out of the competition a significant time after that decision had been made. Thankfully, badminton will now go ahead, along with women’s basketball in what has proved to be a good week overall for the Stan Calvert competition. However, while the inclusion of these sports is to be celebrated, as well as the fact that the complete disaster of a cancellation has been avoided, there can be little doubt that the already strained relationship between the sporting powers that be at Northumbria and Newcastle has now soured even further thanks to this incident. Hopefully the final build-up to Stan Calvert can now move away from politics and focus on what the competition is really about: sport.

When teams travel to places such as Close House, they are representatives of Newcastle University, consequently the behaviour of the players need to be of a high standard. The actions of the Agric 2nds players have risked the availability of Close House as a venue for the university. Denis Murphy, the Participation and Events manager for Sport at Newcastle University, made the decision to fine the Agric 2nds £150 with £100 of this suspended for a further 12 months. He warned the team about their future conduct whilst playing at this venue and commented that the “conduct of the Agric 2nds players was not acceptable and actions like this put all Intra Mural Sport at Close House in jeopardy”. The Agric 2nds captain Ian Dagg accepted the punishment of the fine and apologised for the conduct of his players in this incident. He stated that what occurred after the game on the 20 February was “a long standing tradition which we have done for decades, which will likely be stopped after last week’s antics”. Despite only receiving a fine from Denis Murphy, Dagg also took the ad-

“Despite only receiving a fine, Agrics captain Dagg also took the additional step of expelling his own side from the IM Rugby Union Cup” a golf green to complete the tradition, which subsequently caused a great deal of damage to the green as well as to the bank of the lake. The Close House outdoor pitches are regularly used by Newcastle University for a large number of both Intra Mural 11-a-side football and rugby union fixtures. The Sports Centre has access to eleven pitches, four of which are for the Wednesday and Saturday afternoon rugby programmes. In addition to the outdoor pitches, Close House, which is a large county estate in Heddon-on-the-wall, boasts an 18-hole golf course. The upkeep of such a course requires a sufficient amount of time and money, thus the spoiling of a golf green with the spikes of several rugby boots understandably severely displeased those who work at Close House. The Agric 2nds have only played five games so far this season, which, along with the BioSci Falcons, is the lowest amount of games played by an IM rugby union team, therefore for one of these matches to lead onto such negative consequences does not reflect well on the team.

ditional step of expelling the team from the IM Rugby Union Cup competition as a form of internal punishment for his players. As a result of this, their scheduled quarter final game against the Engines last Wednesday was cancelled, and instead the Agrics travelled to Morpeth and beat a team of local farmers there in what has the potential to become a new permanent annual fixture. In a heavily disrupted season, here’s how the league currently stands:

IM Rugby Union League 12/13 1








Southern Fairies








Agrics 1
















Cheeky Ladies
























Agrics 2








Newcastle Medics RFC








BioSci Falcons













10 Law Blacks

The Courier 1267  

The Courier 1267

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