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www.thecourieronline.co.uk Monday 13 February 2012 Issue 1244 Free

HERE’S TO YOU, MRS ROBBO

No likey, no lighty! Being taken out by Jack tv, p.39

FASHION, P.14-15

Drop in applications for 2012 Uni places

•1000 fewer submissions By Wills Robinson News Editor

Applications to Newcastle University have dropped in comparison to 2011. The admissions service has seen a drop in around 1000 applications (4%), in line with national figures showing a 7.4% decline across UK universities. The figures from UCAS, which were published following the application deadline on January 15th, are an indication that the trebling of student fees may not have affected applications to Newcastle as much as initially thought. Certain courses have seen bigger drops than others with a 30% drop in those applying for Architecture courses, 30% for Technologies and 20% for Art and Design. However some courses saw a marked increase, with an increase of nearly 70% for those applying to social sciences combined with arts and 24% increase for places in the Law school. Newcastle’s competitors have also experienced a similar drop in applications. Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Nottingham, Sheffield and Northumbria (the universities who most frequently appear on the same UCAS application as Newcastle) have seen an average decline of 4% too. The University has also seen a rise of 38% from Non-EU applications since last year and a 52% rise since 2012, compared to a 6% decline in UK applications (contrasting to the 8.7% national figure), and 15% from potential EU students. Medicine and Dentistry have seen 262 (6.16%) fewer people apply for places starting next year, despite the fact that subjects allied to medicine (such as Biomedical Sciences) have seen a 30% increase since 2010. Continued on p.5

d e p p a n d i k

Pride of Stan Calvert missing Team Newcastle’s four-time lucky charm disappears from Students’ Union By Wills Robinson News Editor Team Newcastle mascot Rory Lion has been abducted from the Students’ Union. At mid-afternoon on Thursday February 9 Athletic Union Officer Alice Holloway discovered the iconic Stan Calvert mascot was missing from his usual habitat. In his place was what appeared to be a ransom note, reading “We have Rory, give us the cup if u want 2 [sic] c [sic] him again.” Initially, the mascots absence was attributed to a practical joke being made by one of the Students’ Union Sabbatical Officers. However, after thorough

interrogation they have been cleared of suspicion. Shocked students and staff have begun a thorough search, with appeals concerning his whereabouts posted on facebook and Twitter. According to sources he was last seen early last week in the Planning Room on the first floor of the Students’ Union. Standing at approximately six-foot tall Rory has a mane of long gingerhair, large eyes, sharp teeth, whiskers and a tail. It is also thought he has a strong dislike for parrots and fondness of steak. There are no firm suggestions as to when he may have been taken or where he may have gone. Neither is there any indication as to who is re-

sponsible for his disappearance. The ransom note, constructed of letters cut out from magazines and newspapers, rules out the possibility of a handwriting match, and as the specific timing of Rory’s disappearance is unclear, CCTV is unlikely to help with investigations. With Stan Calvert a matter of weeks away, the search for the mascot has taken high priority, with Holloway giving a desperate plea to anyone who may have information: “Rory Lion is a valued member of the AU, and I’m devastated that someone would kidnap him. He has been looking forward to celebrating his fifth birthday at this year’s Stan Calvert and is quite the lucky charm, as we have beaten Northumbria every year Rory has

been here. I’m urging anyone who has information at all to come forward. We want Rory back!” Wilfred Wildcat, the Newcastle University Ice Hockey Club’s Mascot was beside himself: “I was speaking to him just the other day, somebody must know where my cousin is”. Rory has been a common fixture on the sidelines at Gateshead Stadium every year during the Stan Calvert Cup. In 2009 however, he made a name for himself by rugby tackling and taking out a streaker during the Men’s Rugby Union fixture against the Poly. He was first adopted by Athletic Union Officer 2007-08 Lydia Oxenham, and has remained a beloved representative of Team Newcastle since.


News

2

Monday 13 February 2012

The Courier

News Editors: Wills Robinson and George Sandeman Online News Editor: Helen Lam courier.news@ncl.ac.uk

thecourieronline.co.uk/news

NEWS

Unis set to be fi ned if they fail to cater UNILAD CLOSES 6 for students from every background Student ‘lad’ magazine discontinues service temporarily

SAFE VALUABLES

New logging system hopes to secure personal items

7

COMMENT

By Kathryn Riddell The Coalition government’s possible choice for new head of the Office of Fair Access (Offa), Prof Les Ebdon, has hinted at the need to financially punish universities that do not do enough to encourage poorer students to apply to their institutions. Universities in the Russell Group especially could be facing sanctions for not allowing equal access to students of disadvantaged backgrounds. New rules state that any university

wishing to charge more than £6000 in tuition fees must draw up an “access

If admission targets are not met Offa has the ability to charge universities up to £500,000

10 There is an obvious problem with access 11 YES to top universities SPORT

DUVET DEGREE Are online degrees the way forward?

agreement” to outline how their pric-

YOURS OR MINE?

Amy Shields discusses the new Unihomeswap

42 43

MONEY TALKS Has sport become too commercial?

HARRY FOR ENGLAND?

What would happen if the Spurs manager got the job?

NIKESH JANI COMMENT It is painfully obvious that there is a deeply entrenched problem with access to top universities; an unjustifiable under-representation of large parts of the public, and steps must be taken to reduce this social disparity. Whilst there are some minority groups (such as British Indians) who are in a comparatively good position, other groups such as those of Pakistani or African descent are still grossly excluded. The statistics also show that the richest 20% of teenagers are seven times more likely to get places at the best universities than the poorest 40%, a gap that has widened in recent years. Universities that have been granted the right to charge such high fees must not be allowed to shirk their responsibilities in correcting the effect that they will surely have on prospective applicants.

NUSU, King’s Walk, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 8QB. Tel: 0191 239 3940

The Courier is a weekly newspaper produced by students, for students. It’s never too late to get involved in the paper, whether you’re a writer, illustrator or photographer. Just visit thecourieronline.co.uk/getinvolved for more information.

People who oppose this view state that it gives an unfair advantage to certain groups in society, by discriminating against those who do receive high grades and would otherwise have been granted admittance. However, teenagers from less fortunate upbringings need to be encouraged to feel as if a good university is a possible option for them. Some modern universities have more ethnic minorities and lower income students than a lot of those within the Russell Group combined, highlighting the perceived image of prestigious institutions being exclusively white and middle class. People from these backgrounds have the preconception that they simply don’t belong in such establishments; not fitting the cookie cutter stereotypes of public-school-bred future socialites. My parents were immigrants and their incomes sit near the lowest student finance threshold, but they pushed me into realising that working hard will open up all sorts of advantageous educational avenues; however most people in comparable socio-economic contexts seem to be alienated from the best universities.

es will not deter poorer pupils. This agreement includes admission targets, the amount of money to be invested in fee discounts, bursaries and details of outreach programmes in order to increase recruitment rates. If admission targets are not met, Offa has the ability to charge universities up to £500,000, along with the right to charge £9000 fees being removed and capped at £6000. Prof Ebdon said: “It is very important that universities set challenging targets. We have slipped back in some universities in widening participation

and we must make up lost ground immediately. “They should know what things to do to improve participation and they should realise that if they don’t do that there will be an office which will not be afraid to employ sanctions if they don’t achieve these outcomes.” Prof Ebdon also said that the Russell Group’s commitment to fair access “has been mixed”, with figures showing that the poorest 40 per cent of students were seven times less likely to make it into these selective universities, compared to the richest 20 per cent.

The government needs to stop blaming universities NO AMY SHIELDS COMMENT The university selection process bases its decisions on academic ability and not social or economic background. Therefore I see no reason why universities should be penalised for fulfilling their role of selecting the students with the strongest academic records in order to produce the highclass graduates expected. The government needs to stop blaming universities for a scarcity of those from poorer backgrounds, and instead acknowledge the real problem. The lack of poorer students is not a sign of university elitism; rather it is symptomatic of a decisive failure at the lower levels of education. It is well established that those from more impoverished areas are more likely fall behind in education, when compared with those from a wealthier background. If the government

Editor Kat Bannon Deputy Editor Elliot Bentley News Editors Wills Robinson and George Sandeman Online News Editor Helen Lam Politics Correspondent Bethany Staunton Comment Editors Sophie McCoid and Susie May Beever Online Comment Editor Jack Torrance C2 Editor: Aimee Philipson Lifestyle Editors Emma Balter and Ben Parkin Online Lifestyle Editor Lauren Cordell Fashion Editor Victoria Mole Online Fashion Editor Rosanna Sopp Arts Editors Sally Priddle Online Arts Editor Lisa Bernhardt Film Editor Chris Binding Online Film Editor Hayley Hamilton Music Editors Ben Travis, Chris Scott Online Music Editor Graham Matthews Science Editor Mark Atwill Online Science Editor Shaun Butcher TV Editors Sophia Fairhead and Nicole Stevenson Sports Editors Colin Henrys, Harry Slavin and Rory Brigstock-Baron Online Sports Editors Grace Harvey and Charlie Scott Design Editors Gabe Mason and Tom O’Boyle Copy Editors Sarah Collings, Rachael Day, Dave Dodds, Grace Marconi, Rebecca Markham, Charley Monteith, Adam Rummens, Alice Sewell, Marleen van Os, Emily Wheeler

wishes to point a finger at where education is failing those from a poorer background, the universities are not the place to focus on. Fining universities will also have a detrimental effect on the students already studying there. Selection decisions have nothing to do with students, but it would ultimately be students who would suffer the most. With the recent fee increases, students are expecting a lot more from their institutions in terms of contact time and facilities. By reducing the financial position of the university, students will be getting far less than they pay for, and with the new £9,000 coming in, students should be getting as much for their money as possible. Positive discrimination such as this is always controversial and rarely helpful. Setting presubscribed targets for students from poorer backgrounds means that equally worthy students from wealthier backgrounds will be overlooked. Discriminating against a student because they have had a good education hardly seems any better.

The Courier is printed by: Harmsworth Printing Limited, Northcliffe House, Meadow Road, Derby, DE1 2DW. Tel: 01332 253013. 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.


The Courier

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Monday 13 February 2012

Adver-tyres-ment: Business Management graduates set student marketing in motion By Miranda Dobson It’s a question that most students dread; what are you going to do after uni? But it’s a question that two innovative Newcastle graduates, fresh out of their mortar boards, have found an answer to. Charlie Warburg and Will Clowes have set out on a brave venture with their advertising agency, Uni Car Ads. The company targets students We were specifically. They use stickers on shocked at cars in popular how bad areas student adverts student around Newcasare. Using tle to advertise stickers on cars directly to this audience, and is not a one also provide time hit, it gets they opportunity seen again and the for students to again. make a bit of cash. The idea came from Charlie Warburg and Will Clowes noticing the abundance of leaflets through their front door and endless flyers being pushed into their hands on Northumberland Street. They told The Courier, “We were shocked at how bad student adverts are. Using stickers on cars to advertise means it’s not a one-time hit, it gets seen again and again. Also, the advert gets seen by groups of students, so our clients can gain business through word of mouth.’” With their research showing that 178 students an hour will walk past their car stickers, the cost for businesses comes out at 93p per thousand students seeing an advert. This undercuts the cost of billboard and leaflet advertising, with companies also getting the enthusiasm of two young entrepreneurs eager to make their business work. Their confidence in the success of the agency is evident. They told The Courier, dvertisers have been convinced by Uni Car Ads because it’s basically by students, for students. We

SPEEDING AHEAD

Graduates Charlie Warburg and Will Clowes have attracted the attention a number of local buisnesses to their new advertising agency Photography: Hannah Fisher

know our audience because we were students ourselves last year.’ Uni Car Ads also gives advertisers a unique opportunity to reach students in Halls of Residence by using cars parked outside student flats. This is an audience which is normally difficult for advertisers to reach. The company hopes to recruit student ambassadors to help their business grow. To join their 200 strong database of students, ambassadors will have to display Uni Car Ads on their car, live in an area where lots of students will be passing the adverts, and get to know the businesses they

are helping to advertise. Perks of the job include a monthly pay of up to £60, and the possibility of discounts and freebies. Uni Car Ads’ partners already include Newcastle Eagles, Jesmond menswear shop Edo, Meat Merchant and Spy Bar, to name a few. Will told us how they plan to create a student network through the business. “Student Ambassadors will have great opportunities through Uni Car Ads, because we want to keep everything in the student population. We are looking for students with skills in website building, graphics design, and photography to provide them bits of

work. “ Both Charlie and Will graduated last summer with Business Management degrees, with each having a year out in industry. Charlie worked with Hewlett Packard’s marketing team, and Will worked in Hong Kong at the property investment firm, IP Global. Their CV’s make impressive reading, and they say that their passion for business is their biggest asset. “We’re always going to put 100% effort in for our clients because we’re hungry for results and need to prove ourselves. We’ll give a care level that other ad agencies won’t give.” Their

advice to students wanting to set up in business after university is to do your research and be confident in your idea. They said, “Ask for critical advice from your friends and look around for support from the university, the government and investors. We were pleasantly surprised at how much help people are willing to give.” Hoping to eventually expand to every University city around UK, if the Uni Car lad’s aspirations are met by their enthusiasm, the business should be a roaring success.

Can Film Festival not French anymore By Linda Guma Last week, university students and staff across the UK were able to watch movies knowing they have done something good for the planet. They attended film screenings for the unbeatable price of two empty drinks cans! 100% of these cans are going to be recycled and will reappear on the shelves for sale in six weeks’ time. Now in its third successful year, the appositely titled Can Film Festival launched last Monday as part of Go Green Week (February 6-11). By creating a link between positive recycling behaviour and the reward of a free movie, the Can Film Festival promotes the adoption of eco-friendly habits. The programme was designed to raise awareness about the importance

of recycling beverage cans consumed away from the home. It aims to communicate the value of the benefits obtained from recycling - even that one can. Sarah Mends, marketing and communications executive for Every Can Counts, says: “Sometimes people don’t realize the significance of recycling, the difference you can make by recycling just one can. This project seeks to raise awareness about the big impact that recycling has on the environment.” Even though it kicked off last week, the Can Film Festival is open throughout the academic year to any university or college interested in taking part. It provides participating bodies with facilities to help organize and run the event. Materials include Every Can Counts recycling containers, posters, templates, and promotional materials.

Mends says: “A lack of infrastructure is one of the main reasons why only about half of drinks cans sold each year in the UK manage to get recycled. We at Every Can Counts make all the resources available to organizations keen on getting involved. We encourage people to share with us the outcome of their events.” There are currently more than 4,000 containers distributed among tourist attractions, music festivals, shopping centres, and workplaces in the UK. In 2010, the programme helped recycle more than 27 million drinks cans. And now for some canny facts that might make you think twice about what to do with those empties. Did you know that drinks cans are infinitely recyclable? And that no quality loss is implicated in the recycling process? Did you know that recycling one aluminium drinks can could save

enough energy to boil a kettle three times? And that recycling just seven cans saves energy to power a 60 watt light bulb for 24 hours? For more information about the Can Film Festival or to learn about how you can organize your own Can Film screening, please visit http://www. everycancounts.co.uk/upevents/canfilmfestival/ Every Can Counts developed the nation-wide initiative two years ago, a programme aimed at enabling and encouraging more people to recycle the drinks cans they use outside the home. Every Can Counts is a partnership between the European and UK drinks can manufacturers and the aluminium and steel packaging and recycling industries, and supported by the Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP). For more information, visit www.

everycancounts.co.uk/about. So now that you’re thinking about the wonders of recycling, it’s time to think about how travelling by foot, bike, metro, or bus can reduce your carbon footprint. While you were walking around the city centre last week, you may have noticed a bunch of odd-looking people clad in super-hero attire standing outside the Haymarket metro and bus station. One of them may even have approached you and handed you a caped lolly. Those folks are not just random weirdos. They are the No Car Superstars and they’re on a mission. They’ve taken on the initiative of travelling car-free and care-free. And they’re asking students from Newcastle University and Northumbria University to join them on their challenge and discover how rewarding travelling car-free can be.


4.news

Monday 6 February 2012

Everyone’s quite naive aren’t they? They don’t expect it to happen to them. I definitely didn’t expect it to happen to me.

The Courier

Photography: Moises Bedrossian

Amy * was just an ordinary fourth year student enjoying life in Newcastle. She went out, she drank, she had fun. Then one night she had an experience that changed her time here for good. She speaks to Editor Kat Bannon Amy can remember every insignificant detail of what she did on the day of Friday November 5. What she wore to Uni, what time her lectures finished, how she went to the library to print off an assignment and then meeting her friend from home outside the big Oxfam in town. Then there was also the stress at where to park the car when they went to Tesco, how they had to go to West Jesmond Metro, and how they bought pizza for dinner and a bottle of vodka. It was aiming to be as normal a night out as any.

Before

“We went to Osborne Road before we went out. I was being careful about what I spent as my bankcard wasn’t working and I was borrowing money, so I was conscious of that and only got one drink. “After we got a taxi into town. The first place we tried was too busy so we moved on to somewhere else instead. I bought three trebles, one I gave to my friend, the other I drank myself. ‘I remember buying three trebles – I gave one to a friend, drank one and then gave the other to my friend to hold when I went the toilet. I then re-

member going back, then nothing. According to what her friends told her the next day they walked down to the club (quite a distance), had some cigarettes outside and danced. But my friend from home said he remembered me going to the toilet and never seeing me again. “I kind of wish he’d looked for me. He was pretty drunk so I understand. I suppose you just want someone to blame. Well, not to blame. Someone to wish they were there. “I woke up in the morning, was in this bed - it was so unfamiliar. The carpet was weird and there were weird

posters on the wall. My throat was really dry and I had a really bad headache. “I was trying frantically to place the room but I didn’t have a clue where I was. It had an en suite which I thought was really strange as I’d never been in a student house with an en suite before. “I thought it was my friend next to me and we’d just crashed out at a random house. When I realised I didn’t know who it was was when the terror got to me. My initial reaction was to see what I was wearing. I knew I wasn’t wearing very much - some strange tracksuit bottoms that weren’t mine and my top, which had blood on it. I started to panic - trying to see where my things were. I could see my coat on the floor. “I didn’t want to take a bag out with me and this coat had really stiff zips - I pride myself that I get paranoid about my possessions - I’m constantly checking my bag for my phone and keys and purse. “He said I told him I lost my bag but I never had one. “I sat up in bed then and the guy tried to put his arm around me, so I took myself to the bathroom instead. My hair was completely messed up and all that was left in my jacket was a single cigarette and a lighter. I found my shorts and my shoes, but I had no idea where my knickers were. “I kept having to ask him basic questions; where I was; what had happened. “He said he found me outside the club passed out on the ground. I couldn’t stand. Apparently I’d been chucked out and the bouncers left me on the street. I was surrounded by other guys trying to pick me up and kiss me and undress me. “He said he got into a fight with these guys, I think that’s how he got a

friend, who said I told them I was by the gym. I live by a gym in Jesmond though, so they must have thought I meant that one rather than the Uni gym. They thought I was near home. “He said I fell over when I was there, which was why I had mud on my arms and legs and face. “I guess that was when we went back to his. “Now, that absolute terror of not knowing exactly were I was haunts me every morning. I’m petrified for like a millisecond as to where I am. “I asked if we has sex. He said yes. I didn’t ask him his name though, I couldn’t add that to the list. “I felt really sore, and violated. “Then I started to get really stressed out trying to work out what had happened to me. “When we were leaving I realised it was his parents house, there were photos of him with his parents every-

The absolute terror of not knowing exactly where I was haunts me every morning now.

black eye which was why he had a cut on his face. “Then we went to a bus stop, but I wasn’t standing. He got me water but I wouldn’t get into a cab, and then no cabs would take me. “When we eventually got into a cab he asked me where I lived and I said Ricky Road - but I’ve never lived in Ricky Road, I was at Leazes. “It was at this point that I spoke to a

where. “I found my phone by the front door under a umbrella stand, and then my keys were outside on the pavement. “All I could think about was what state I was in. You don’t take advantage of someone in that state. You don’t do that. “We went to the high street and I sat on the wall covered in blood and mud. My jacket had a rip in it and I


The Courier

news.5

Monday 6 February 2012

“People put their drinks down all the time. They don’t realise it could happen to absolutely anyone.”

kept getting looks from these people walking past. “I didn’t have any money, so the guy got me a fiver and I ordered a cab, but I had to get out part of the way because I didn’t have enough. I lit the cigarette I had left and walked along the road bawling my eyes out. “When I got home I went and sat in the shower for an hour and a half, then realised I would have to get the morning after pill. “My friend went with me to the Pharmacy but the guy there kept questions I couldn’t give him an acurate answer. “Was it in the last 72 hours? Was it unprotected? “I didn’t know.”

After

“That week I think I just went into self denial. I was drinking and smoking loads. “I’d go to the library and Google things like roofies and totally freak myself out and leave. I was crying all the time too. “I started forcing myself to lectures to stop the thoughts in my head. It wouldn’t work though, as I’d find a way to relate everything to what had happened. Some sort of association to a word or a passage or a paper. “I tried to get on with things but all I could do was sit and cry and feel sorry for myself. “I’d go to the library and force myself to work but I’d be really afraid to be out in the night, and get really freaked out walking by myself in the dark. I carry an alarm with me now. “I’d think about what happened every day and was having really bad

trouble sleeping. “I always felt unstable. Always on that line of crying or not. “I could feel the change with my friends too. It was always like there was an elephant in the room, can we say that or not. “The ways I’ve changed have been so dramatic. “I wish I hadn’t gone out that night.”

Finding support

“I knew I had to get help so, I went to Student Services at King’s Gate “I went up to the desk and just burst into tears. I’d never felt so low in my life, and so low about something I don’t even remember “I keep thinking how much more confident I’d be. At the moment I don’t trust anyone. I’d even carry my water bottle around the library I was so scared. “I filled out a PEC form but I couldn’t physically write it. Someone from Student Services added a paragraph too, it was really well written - but how do you write a paragraph about everything that has happened?

“I don’t think I could ever tell my parents.”

“I was such a wreck, crying constantly. Everyone kept asking me if I was going to tell mum. We had a weekend away planned to Edinburgh. “I met her at the station and we started talking about family; my dad, my brother, my cat. Everything seemed so normal for a brief second, but I knew I’d have to do something. “When we went to dinner I told her my drink had been spiked and all my

Submissions The ways in which I’ve changed have been so dramatic decrease stuff was taken; but, luckily my friends had found me and taken me home. “I told her ‘Yeah, I was really lucky my friends found me and took me home to bed and stayed with me. “I wish that had happened. “All weekend I was making myself believe what I was saying was true. “But it’s not what happened is it. “I went home for Christmas and was going to tell them but I had so many assignments to get through. “My mum tried to get it out of me, but she worries about me being up here in general - I didn’t want to burden her.

Trying to move on

“I’ve made a lot of progress from the New Year. I’ve made a real effort to make a fresh start. “I didn’t go out for New Year, I’m petrified of town. It’s always about having any excuse not to go out. “It’s not nice having something you really enjoyed doing taken away. “I’m really lucky to have really good close friends, but I do feel like I’m missing out. I do feel like I’d be closer to them otherwise. But my fear of it is more than my want to be with my friends. I’ve been out once since when I finished my exams. I thought I deserved it, told myself I was with my friends and they would look after me. I always feel I’m missing out.

“I don’t talk about it anymore either. I think about it a lot, and do dwell on it. “It does get overwhelming sometimes but I’ve learnt my techniques. “I’m more wary now and not trusting. I don’t trust anyone really. “When I tell people what happened I feel like I get pitied, which is really annoying - I want to say, you don’t understand that it could happen to you. “Everyone’s had a really drunk night when anything could have happened. “That night I remember everything else so vividly, but I have a complete blank of about 12 hours. That’s really scary. “People put their drinks down all the time, I did. But there’s only so much you can say and only so much people will listen. It can happen to absolutely anyone. “It’s a long road ahead. I don’t know when I’ll be comfortable with going out again. “I’m a fourth year, I know what I’m doing. I know my limits now.” If you’ve been affected by this story there is help available. Contact Student Services at King’s Gate, or Welfare and Equality Katy Hargreaves in the Students Union. There is also the Tyneside Rape Crisis Centre. *Names have been changed to protect the identities of those involved.

Continued from front page

The Faculty of Science, Agriculture and Engineering has seen a drop of 8%, compared to a drop of less than 1% last year. In general, there has been a sharper drop amongst male applicants, with 8.5% down on last year, with female applicants dropping by a smaller 6.7%. However, there has only been a 0.2% drop in applications from the most disadvantaged fifth of the population, with a decline of 2.5% from the wealthiest. Despite the rise in fees, some students will still be left without university places, as demand continues to outstrip supply. In comparison to this time last year, there are already 50,000 more applications than acceptances, and competition will be intensified as 10,000 government-funded places are cut. David Willets, the Universities Minister, has highlighted how the proportion of school-leavers (barring last year) is greater than ever and is encouraged by how young people from disadvantaged backgrounds have not been discouraged from going to university: “Even with a small reduction in applications, this will be a competitive year like any other as people continue to understand that university remains a good long-term investment in your future.”


6.news

Monday 13 February 2012

The Courier

UniLad.com goes temporarily offline after public outrage over rape jokes and misogynistic humour The website UniLad.com has been closed down after being fiercely criticised for publishing a controversial article that condones rape. The statement in question was made by an article titled ‘Sexual Mathematics’. It said that “if the girl you’ve taken

90,000 ‘Likes’ on facebook whilst also, according to the magazine’s owners, attracting about 8,000 visitors every day. Apart from the quoted article, the general content and concept of the website have come under severe criticism for promoting so-called ‘lad culture’. This loosely defined phenomenon

for a drink ... won’t ‘spread for your head’, think about this mathematical statistic: 85 per cent of rape cases go unreported”. The article concluded with the note “Uni Lad does not condone rape without saying ‘surprise’”. After causing an outrage on Twitter and other social networking sites, UniLad has been temporarily shut down. Jamie Street and Alex Partridge, both in charge of the website, have further issued an apology and distanced themselves from the content of the article. UniLad was created by a small group of British university students and claims to be the “number one university student lad’s magazine and guide to getting laid”. The website has almost 3,000 followers on Twitter and over

celebrates a specific idea of masculinity that can be, amongst others, associated with misogynist attitudes. Such viewpoints, as they are represented by UniLad, are frequently excused as being merely humorous or ironic, but “a website referring to women as wenches and slags isn’t simply the harmless ‘banter’ the writers want us to believe”, says NUS women’s officer Estelle Hart, commenting on the controversy. Numerous Twitter and facebook users who have expressed their concerns about the article have received derogatory replies from other users and the website itself. A female commentator on UniLad’s facebook group was even threatened with rape and murder which she has reported to the police.

By Lisa Bernhardt

UniLad claims to be the “number one university lad’s mag and guide to getting laid”

HEW ROUSEYRE COMMENT Roll up the latest comedy controversy. I say comedy - you be the judge. ‘UniLad’, a lad’s website for students, recently published an article titled Sexual Mathematics which, amongst other things, advised readers that 85% of rape cases go unreported, and that this seemed “fairly good odds”. There was also the age-old line about yelling “surprise!” before proceeding to molest someone. Yawn. What strikes me as being most peculiar As a male about this joke student, it’s is that, if one depressing to were really to think that this find rape all that amusing, is how we’re - as the perceived, but surely editor-in-chief then again to a website, a what should role which we can only prewe expect? sume comes with a vague awareness of the attitudes and values of contemporary society - Alex Partridge should have

had the sense to pick up on the offensiveness and prevent it from being made public; if not for a sense of sympathy, then surely out of a basic reaction of self-interest when you consider the website’s reputation. Reading some of UniLad’s other articles, it’s not surprising that it’s been temporarily shut down and replaced by a grovelling, spineless apology. “How to Pull a Fresher”, by Jake Gallagher, opens with the line “Fresher girls are especially vulnerable…” and then goes on to explain how to get her to come back with you on a night out. What kind of person is so up himself that he feels it’s his duty to explain to his readership how to ‘get’ with people? What about his readers? How do you take something like this; seriously, ironically or with a bucketload of salt? You pick, either way it’s pretty un-funny. As a male student, it’s depressing to think that this is how we’re perceived, but then again what should we expect? Comedy as a form of entertainment is governed by those who are successful. Jimmy Carr, Ricky Gervais and Frankie Boyle are all popular and influential amongst young people and have all made offensive jokes concerning sexual abuse. Granted their comedy is pulled off with finesse and style, contrasting starkly with UniLad’s bluntness, but

does decorating offensive jokes with a comedian’s charm and eloquence make a joke any less offensive? In an interview with HBO, Gervais There was also maintained that nothing the age-old line “there’s you shouldn’t about yelling joke about; it de“surprise!” pends what the before proceed- joke is.” In other ing to molest words, all topics are accessible someone. through comedy, Yawn. but it takes precision in making the right joke for a particular context. What is a shame is that misogynist jokes made in an obviously ironic fashion can be humorous, but that humour is caused by the irony involved and the ludicrous nature of sexism itself, not because abusing women is actually funny. UniLad missed this point completely and came up with the same kind of predictable, offensive but simultaneously mundane jokes as shows like Top Gear. Above the aforementioned brownnosed apology on the UniLad website sits an ominous countdown to when it will be back online. At the time of writing it’s at 5 days and 22 hours, and I’m genuinely curious as to who will be cheering when the clock ticks down to zero.

Logging system immobilizes valuables

University encourages students to register expensive goods to counter thievery By Sam Tyson

A free system to log valuable items is being proactively rolled out across campus. Both the head of the Estate Security Service, George Westwater and the Housing Manager Paul Bandeen back the scheme. Ken Nott, deputy team leader and Ronnie Bryant, a University police officer, both with the Estates Security Service, Ideally we talked to The Courier while would like to registering stuhave all stufor the serdents and staff dents vice in the Robsigned up… it inson Library. acts as a deter- Their estimates rent to thieves, suggest around 100 students had on campus signed up over and of an 8 hour period. “Ideally we would like to have all students and staff signed up… it acts as a deterrent to thieves, on campus and off ”. The system itself is a register, linking valuable items to individual users. If a registered item is stolen, the owner can log onto their profile and mark it as such. When it is handed in, a quick search by the police can identify the owner and the item can be returned. The ability to re-sell registered items is also greatly impeded by the system, as re-sale websites such as eBay automatically check items against the im-

SAFE AND SECURE

Students queued up to register their valuable items; including laptops and phones. The register helps prevent the reselling of stolen goods Photography: Sam Tyson

mobilise register to see if items have been stolen or are marked as lost. Anything from musical instruments to mobile phones can be registered on the system. The Estates Security

Service is hoping that uptake will be greatest with bicycle owners, as a large proportion of on-campus theft involves bicycles. Anyone worried about the security

of the system should be comforted by the fact that it is run by the same company that runs the National Mobile Property Register (NMPR). As well as this, the only people who

have access to information are the Police and the registered user, with individual profiles being entirely selfadministered.


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Monday 13 February 2012

Co-op to sell budget organic food Student volunteers encourage ethical eating by selling local, healthy produce By Bethany Staunton Politics Correspondent Students can now buy healthy, organic food for low prices on campus. The Newcastle Food Co-op, a new food store set up by student volunteers launched last Wednesday. The project aims to promote ethical eating by encouraging students to both shop at the store and get involved as volunteers themselves. Catherine Alexander, one of the coordinators and a final year student in English Literature, was keen to get involved. “It’s important to encourage ethical eating, but that’s not always possible without the food being cheaper and more accessible, especially in the stu-

has had one for ages which has been massively successful”. Customers at the store, which is located in the vicinity of the Robinson Library, are asked to join for a small annual membership fee, giving them the chance to get involved with the project. Although students have set up the venture, anyone is welcome to be a member and to volunteer. Some of the funding has come from the Alumni Association Student Initiative Fund at NCL+ which looks at applications for money from student start-up projects that have social, cultural or community benefits. However, as Felix explains, the venture has been an ongoing process, which has been extended due to prob-

EAT ETHICAL

Students gather to try the locally sourced and organic wares for the first time Photography: Vili Welroos

The co-op will be stocked with whole foods, fresh vegetables and healthy snacks for all dent community. It’s a really fun project.” The co-op will be stocked with whole foods, fresh vegetables and healthy snacks. All of the products are bought from local, organic producers such as NEOG (North East Organic Growers) and sold on at the same rate. Felix Griffith, a History student at Newcastle and another key organiser, points out that the Newcastle Food Co-op isn’t the first of its kind set up by students. “York set one up recently, and Leeds

lems of securing a location for the store. “NCL+ was really positive about the whole thing, the only problem was finding a space. When we managed that, they gave us £250 in funding.” They eventually found suitable premises in a garage on Devonshire Terrace, near Robinson library, which they share with the Newcastle Sustainability Team. The Newcastle Food Co-op will be open weekly on Wednesdays 1-3 and Thursdays 12-2.

School pupils feast their eyes on biodiversity By Elliot Bentley Deputy Editor Have you ever snacked on a Bombyx mori (silkworm larvae), or had the urge to nibble on a bit of Alloteuthis subulata (squid)? Last Friday, 181 primary school students from six local schools had a

RARE DELICACIES Dishes on offer ranged from cashew nuts (Anacardium occidentale) to the more exotic Giant Cricket (Orthoptera) Photography: Elliot Bentley

chance to try all of these, and more, at a ‘Phylum Feast’ organised by the Biology Society, in which the aim was to eat as many of the 125 species on offer as possible. Taking place in the Hancock museum, tables were laden with a range of foods, each labelled with a common and latin name. Some were everyday, like cashew nuts (Anacardium oc-

cidentale) and banana (Musa acuminate), while others were considerably more exotic – Giant Cricket (Orthoptera), anyone? The schoolkids, who had travelled from around the region, ignored the plates of regular sandwiches to try the range of foods on offer. Joe, 10, munching on a plate of dried insects, declared: “They were really nice, and I want to try them again!” Danny Pattison, teacher of the Year 6 class at Oakfield Junior School, told The Courier: “The kids are loving it, and there’s a great variety of food.” With a prize offered by the The schoolfor kids, who had organisers the most travelled from eating species, Josh, around the 10, had piled as region, ignored much as possible onto his plate. the plates of got 124 regular sand- “I’ve species here,” he wiches to try told The Courier the range of between mouthfoods on offer fuls. “I’m allergic to Brazil nuts, though.” Clearly struggling to eat even a mouthful of everything on his plate, his friends chanted: “Josh! Josh! Josh!” before being told to quiet down by teachers. Alongside this main event, several educational workshops were run by student volunteers from the Biology

Society. Helen Allister, third-year Biology student, said: “The children really surprised us with their take on natural selection. They’ve got some crazy ideas: infra-red eyes, rollerskates, defensive mechanisms like tails. They’re really creative!” The event was organised by Sam Steventon, as both an executive member of the BioSoc and as Officer Without Portfolio. He told The Courier: “It’s a way of getting kids interested in science, because I know a lot of schools find it hard sometimes to do interesting practical work, because they’re

limited in terms of resources.” “We got £750 from the [Students’] Union, which was very kindly given to us from a special grant application, we got £450 from Colin Wilkinson from the British Science Association and Karen Marshall from Science City and £500 very generously donated form the Alumni association. “It’s very busy, but it’s gone well – the feedback has been very positive. Some kid discovered what lettuce is today, which is always a plus point. So if they’ve learnt a little thing about salad, then that’s biodiversity to me.”


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The Courier

Loans company boss dodges £40,000 tax By David Hiscocks It emerged last week that Ed Lester, the Chief Executive of the Student Loans Company, has managed to dodge £40,000 worth of taxes. Mr Lester was paid through a private company; allowing him to pay only

Job Title: Kitchen Team Member Employer: Yo Sushi! Closing date: 14.02.12 Salary: National Minimum Wage Basic job description: A Kitchen Team Member is required to work 20 hours per week at the restaurant in the Metrocentre. Interested candidates must be able to serve up some of the finest quality recipes this side of Japan, follow instructions, provide great customer service and be organised and meticulous to work with. Person requirements: Candidates must have proven kitchen experience, the ability to communicate well, a customer focus, a cool head even when things are busy and a good team spirit. Location: Gateshead. Job Title: Outreach Worker Employer: North Tyneside Council Closing date: 17.02.12 Salary: £19,126 - £20,198 pro rata Basic job description: We are looking for new Outreach Workers to join our scheme on a casual ‘as and when basis’. The scheme provides children and young people with disabilities, between the ages of 5 and 17 years, with support to access leisure and social opportunities within their local community. Person requirements: We are looking for people who are self motivated and professional with a comprehensive knowledge of the requirements of supporting young people in the community. You will have excellent organisational, interpersonal and communication skills as well as significant hands on experience working in a similar environment. Location: North Tyneside Job Title: Sales Assistant Employer: Goldsmiths Closing date: 28.02.12 Salary: Exceeds National Minimum Wage Basic job description: A Sales Assistant is required to work 15 hours per week at the store in the Metrocentre. Duties will include stock replenishment, liaising with and understanding customer requirements, selling luxury branded items in order to meet targets, cash handling and other general store duties. Person requirements: A high standard of personal presentation is essential, along with proven experience of driving sales within a target based environment. Opportunities to progress available for the right candidate. Location: Gateshead. Job Title: Customer Service Representative (General Insurance) Employer: Tesco Bank Closing date: 31.03.12 Salary: £15,200 - £20,000 pro rata, + benefits Basic job description: Part Time Customer Service Representatives are required to

corporation tax of 21%, rather than the higher rate of income tax. For someone on his salary of £140,000, plus bonuses and expenses, individual tax, as opposed to corporation tax, can be as high as 50%. This appears especially embarrassing for the Government, as they agreed to the arrangement at a time when students

work various shifts (evenings and weekends) at the General Insurance call centre in Newcastle. You will be there to answer a broad range of enquiries about our General Insurance products and services ensuring you deliver a first class customer experience. Person requirements: It’s important that you’re the kind of person who relishes the opportunity to make a difference for our customers, every day. With excellent communication skills and proven customer service experience, you’ll naturally go the extra mile. Location: Newcastle upon Tyne

Job Title: Customer Sales Advisor Employer: AA Closing date: 05.03.12 Salary: £7.52 per hour Basic job description: Our Newcastle site continues to grow. We are looking for individuals to work 16+ hours per week. As a Customer Sales Advisor you will talk with new and existing AA customers about motor and household insurance. The discussion you will have is an opportunity to sell and service the range of competitively priced products we offer, including AA Membership. Person requirements: We welcome applicants with a diverse range of experience and life skills. Location: Newcastle upon Tyne Job Title: Peripatetic Teachers Employer: Musical Mates Closing date: 01.03.12 Salary: £22.66 per hour Basic job description: We are a music service and consultancy company for schools, based in the North East. We are currently expanding and urgently need some parttime peripatetic teachers to fill our tuition requirements (for small and large groups of children) to schools. Person requirements: This opportunity may appeal to trainee primary and secondary teachers, who are proficient in playing a musical instrument. Location: North East England Job Title: Support Worker Employer: United Response Closing date: 24.02.12 Salary: £6.70 per hour Basic job description: United Response support people with disabilities and mental health needs, we require a support worker to work 20 hours per week. Your day will be varied supporting people in the community or at home, with shopping and activities as well as some personal care. Person requirements: Good team working, communication, problem solving, organisation and planning skills. Location: North Tyneside Job Title: Advertising - Student with cars

are being forced to take out increasingly large loans, potentially of up to £50,000. The agreement was signed by Universities Minister David Willetts, who wrote that it had been agreed by the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Danny Alexander. Richard Bacon, Conservative MP for South Norfolk, said: “Students will be absolutely horrified that the company

needed Employer: UniCar Ads Closing date: 17.02.12 Salary: TBC (cars £30-£80) Basic job description: Make your car work for you. Your car is a moving billboard so why not take advantage of this! It is most likely parked in a busy street in view of passersby. We have found businesses who want to pay for this space. If your car is suitable we would place two 20x20 Ads on the front doors of your car and pay you £30 to £80 a month. The Price varies depending on the age of your car the location and the business. Person requirements: Applicants must be car owners Location: North East England Job Title: Marketing Assistant Employer: Newcastle Work Experience- Latimers Seafood Closing date: 19.02.12 Salary: £600 upon completion of placement Basic job description: We are an independent, family run seafood business. We are really keen as a business to harness new ways of connecting with potential customers, but also not forgetting our older client base too. Last year we updated our website - which now includes feeds into Twitter and Facebook pages - we want to grow and optimise our webpage as much as possible. We also want to develop a client-based email list, further promote our on-line gift vouchers, look into the potential of “Groupon/Living Social” type deals and be ready for press releases and enquiries and print adverts. Person requirements: Our ideal candidate must understand our passion and if possible seafood! Location: Whitburn Job Title: First-end Developer Employer: Newcastle Work ExperienceScoutME+Ltd Closing date: 19.02.12 Salary: £600 upon completion of placement Basic job description: We are a Sports Recruitment Software Specialist seeking a student with front end software development experience. You will work with our design team and software specialists within the organisation to: follow design templates, in using semantic mark up language i.e. XTMTL/CSS, to turn static Photoshop designs into working browser based web pages; Work alongside server-side developers to implement their server-side code in order to develop complex, interactive websites; Providing accurate timing estimates on work contributing to documentation; Discussing technical solutions with clients and providing innovative new ideas to solutions. Person requirements: We are looking for a highly pro-active, confident, dynamic person, who is able to work with minimum supervision, be part of the team, is able to achieve results. Location: Sunderland

chasing them to make repayments is run by someone who has managed to get for himself a cosy, special, tax-efficient arrangement”. Mr Lester was unavailable to the media for comment in order to defend his actions. Representatives on both sides

the public. Moreover, the investigation into this which uncovered Mr Lester’s tax-dodge, run by Exaro News website and BBC Newsnight, also uncovered the possibility that many more public servants are being paid in this fashion.

Mr Lester was paid through a private company; allowing him to pay only corporation tax of 21%, rather than the higher rate of income tax [applicable] to his £140,000 salary of the chamber have said that a man in his position has a moral responsibility, as do all Government-affiliated officials, not to use his position of influence for his own benefit. Furthermore, by causing this controversy, it is widely seen that he has further damaged the Government in its ongoing battle to sell the new increased student loans system to

In a Government that is presiding over a country with a deficit of £170.8 billion in 2009-2010, and is asking the public to endure pay freezes and job losses, the suggestion that public officials are a financially privileged class will anger many. Mr Alexander, Chief Secretary to the Treasury, has launched a probe into this.

SLC chief Ed Lester meets Universities Minister David Willetts Photography: bisgovuk

Tax avoidance may be legal but that doesn’t mean it’s right JACK TORRANCE COMMENT

I

t emerged earlier this month that the head of the Student Loans Company, Ed Lester, has been avoiding tax payments amounting to tens of thousands of pounds. The scandal, which is sure to have infuriated students across the country, is the result of an agreement between Lester and the Government stipulating that he be paid through his own headhunting agency, thus allowing him to escape paying national insurance contributions and other taxes. As a student who will be faced with the prospect of repaying my loan upon graduation, I can sense the outrage that many feel at this news. As we would be left repaying our loans for years to come, Lester would be earning a salary in excess of £150,000 and paying a substantially lower rate of tax than many others. Whilst there is nothing illegal about tax avoidance this is just the latest of many furores surrounding the issue. Retail tycoon Philip Green has in particular been the focus of

extensive protests against tax avoidance and the same is true of a number of other corporate figures. What is particularly galling about this incident, however, is the fact that Lester is employed by the public sector. Not content with drawing his salary from the public purse, Lester took steps to ensure that he wouldn’t have to pay back into the pot. In light of the news that Lester’s contract will be re n e got i ate d, can be someWe would be we what hopeful left repaying that this inciour loans for dent will inyears to come, crease pressure on the governLester would ment to take be earning a action against salary in excess the loopholes which allow of £150,000 people to avoid and paying a tax. substantially Politicians lower rate of have been maktax than many ing murmurs about closing others loopholes in recent years, particularly since the formation of the coalition in 2010. But faced with the might of corporate donors and fears that high tax rates will drive investors away it seems unlikely that the Government will put a stop to this unfortunate practice any time soon.


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International Development Conference to hit campus By Veronica Kiteley Final preparations for the annual International Development Conference are in motion this week. The student-led event, organised by Newcastle University’s International Development Society, echoes related events which take place in Oxford, Leeds, Cambridge and Warwick. The conferences share the mutual aims educating, Conference or- of inspiring and ganisers have raising awareness concernemphasised the importance ing international development isof a varied sues, within the audience context of the modern century. However, the central theme of this year, as stated in the IDC title is ‘rethinking development’, with consideration of the fact that the world population has now reached 7 billion. Writing on their website the IDC said: “As the world’s population hits 7 billion, human development is being hailed as both the cause and the solution to our population crisis. Should we be celebrating the successes of de-

velopment or should we be concerned about rising inequalities across the world?” Speaking to The Courier, International Development Committee member, Ben Coulson, was keen to express that this year’s conference is set to be better than ever, spanning across an entire weekend in comparison to the one day allocated in previous years. There are a diverse range of speakers set to attend the conference, covering healthcare to finance, natural resources management, engineering and anthropology. Featured speakers include British

CHI ONWURAH The Labour MP has represented Newcastle upon Tyne Central since 2010 and serves as Shadow Minister for Business, Innovation and Skills

MP representing Newcastle-uponTyne MP Chi Onwurah, and the chief executive of the Engineers Without Borders UK organisation Andrew Lamb.

In addition to the input from the multiplicity of speakers, the agenda is set to include an art and photo exhibi-

The central theme of this year ... is “rethinking development” with consideration to the fact that the world populace has now touched 7 billion and climbing

tion, and poster competition. Conference organisers have emphasised the importance of a varied audience attending the event to contribute to its growing success as a platform for the discussion of development. The International Development Conference takes place from the 1819 February at Newcastle University. More information can be found on the website at www.idcnewcastle.com. Photography: York Labour (Flickr)

Nazi drinking game lambasted by University By Ralph Blackburn London School of Economics A Nazi ‘Ring of Fire’ drinking game at the London School of Economics (LSE) has sparked outrage. The Nazi-themed game took place on the LSE ski trip to Val D’Isere. It incorporated rules such as laying a deck of cards in the shape of a swastika and shouting ‘Heil Hitler’. When a Jewish student protested he received a broken nose. The LSE Athletics Union, Student Union and Jewish society have all condemned the game, with the students involved likely to face disciplinary action. Last September all universities were warned that failure to prevent anti-Semitism on campus could result in them going to court.

Snake on the loose in hall’s plumbing system University of Leeds

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A snake is currently loose inside the plumbing of a hall of residence at Leeds University. In Leeds’ newest halls of residence, the Dwarf Boa Constrictor named Storm Jameson, was lost whilst a student snake enthusiast placed it in the sink in his room. Un i v e r s i t y staff searched the student’s room for the snake without success. The University staff have since brought experts in, in a final attempt to remove the snake from the accommodation. It appears, however, that in the recent cold weather the snake may have died in the plumbing system.

York students feel letting signs attract theft University of York

Students in York have complained that letting signs and information on letting agents’ websites are threatening their safety. In student areas, already vulnerable to crime, the students argue that letting signs encourage theft. Letting agencies in York had been approached about not using letting boards this year, but without an agreement from

all agents, this failed to materialise. York agency, Sinclair Properties was also criticised for publishing floor plans and photographs, supposedly giving away important information for thieves. The agencies, however, have rebuffed these statements, saying there is little evidence that either practices encourage crime.

250 ‘Frankenstein-style’ tests conducted on dogs since 1952 University of Leeds Leeds University has been accused of conducting ‘Frankenstein-style’ experiments on dogs. Animal Aid, a pressure group campaigning against animal testing, say they have found evidence of at least 250 dogs being killed in experiments since 1992. The charity have claimed many of these experiments were done to satisfy the “morbid curiosity” of a few researchers. In their press release Animal Aid said: “The research began in 1988 and has so far claimed the lives of more than 100 beagles. The majority of the experiments have been co-funded by the British Heart Foundation.” Leeds University’s Chief Vet, Khawar Abbas, hit back saying the group’s allegations lacked “scientific credibility”. He then stated that the Home Office had sanctioned every experiment that had been conducted. He added the results had been published in at least one scientific journal.

Students upset over cartoons showing prophet Muhammad “having a pint” London School of Economics Cartoons depicting the prophet Muhammad “having a pint” are being investigated by the Students’ Union after complaints by some students. The Atheist, Secularist and Humanist Society (ASH) posted the cartoons on to their society’s Facebook page in solidarity with University College London’s ASH group after they were instructed by UCL’s Students’ Union to take down the cartoon. A debate over freedom of expression has arisen as the LSE’s ASH and the Islamic Society have sought to outline their differing opinions to LSE’s Students’ Union who are currently deliberating over what action to take. Photography: Leo Reynolds and LongitudeLatitude (Flickr)


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Monday 13 February 2012

Comment

Comment Editors Sophie McCoid and Susie May Beever Online Comment Editor Jack Torrance courier.comment@ncl.ac.uk

Should we be spending millions on the Jubilee?

HMS HUMBUG Should the UK be expected

to pay up for a royal yacht to commemorate last week’s Diamond Jubilee? Cartoon: James Ricketts

LAURA WOTTON

YES

Sixty years ago a tentative young woman was about to take on one of the oldest and hardest jobs in the world: becoming the monarch of the United Kingdom. Whilst grieving the death of her father and living in the shadow of two world wars Elizabeth claimed the duties and expectations of England’s new sovereign. Yet, with the arrival of this Diamond Jubilee, it is perhaps unsurprising that many have questioned the financial costs involved in the elaborate affair. Campaigners for a demographic alternative to the monarchy prepare to corrupt Jubilee celebrations, with the spokesman arguing: ‘The Pageant goes to the heart of what’s wrong with the monarchy. It’s an enforced celebration of hereditary power, and all the problems that spring from it.’ However are these celebratory events merely superfluous? I think not. This sudden burst of celebration plays a multi-faceted role in British society inspiring a rush of patriotic pride whilst reminding us of the magnitude of difficulties that has been dealt with over this remarkable reign.

When considering the publicity this event will attract, the Jubilee provides an opportunity for a much-needed union of British society, a coming together of the positive elements of modern day England. Indeed councillors around the country are being reminded that granting staff a day’s leave for the Jubilee will hugely benefit morale despite costing up to £90,000. Having recently watched the twopart documentary, The Diamond Queen, I was reminded of the extraordinary presence of the queen which, in my opinion, qualifies this Jubilee extravaganza. Often coined ‘the real veteran’, our sovereign is seen by many as a relentless stronghold of Britain’s past and present, engaging with people not just in Britain but internationally. Her prerogative is always to do her duty, with family feelings coming second. This serves as a reminder of her dedication to the post; surveying and advising new political powers and cabinet eruptions and maintaining crucial ties with her ‘great imperial family’ overseas being only two of her many duties. The proposal to donate a £60 million yacht to the royals to commemorate the occasion in a time of public spending cuts and slashed school budgets seems highly excessive. Yet the education secretary, Michael Gove advocates that ‘In spite, and perhaps because of, the austere times, the celebration should go beyond those of previous jubilees and mark the greater achievement that the diamond anniversary represents’ whilst Robert Hardman, journalist for the royals, ascertained that the proposal was ‘not for a new royal yacht but for a nation-

al flagship’. The yacht would be paid for by large corporations and private donations and not taxpayers’ hard earned cash. We as Britons should give a little back to the woman who, from 25, has strived unrelentingly for a better British future. With council officers doing their utmost to ‘keep cost as low as possible without diluting the celebrations’, England should look forward to celebrating a milestone of popular reign only before achieved by the Queen’s great-great grandmother Victoria.

GEORGIE MOULE

NO

From the outrageous suggestion of a Royal Yacht funded by the tax payer costing at least £60 million, to a 41 gun salute in London last week, it’s hard to ignore the Diamond Jubilee. Last Tuesday marked sixty years since Queen Elizabeth II ascended the throne, and was marked by celebrations across the country, this is just the beginning of a yearlong celebration with more events planned in the upcoming months.

Really though, in a country where St. George’s Day passes without a bank holiday, let alone a BBC funded concert, why does a celebration of enforced hereditary power garner so much support from the press, the public and the Government? Michael Gove’s suggestion of a new royal yacht to mark the occasion, for me,

Patriotism doesn’t need to cost millions. demonstrates just how out of touch some MPs are when it comes to the monarchy, and the costs involved in particular. In such a period of economic downturn, can we really justify spending millions, on top of the Olympics, to commemorate having the same head of state for sixty years? The Royal Family are going on a huge amount of overseas visits this year. The Queen is staying in the UK, whilst the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will visit Malaysia, Singapore, the Solomon Islands and Tuvalu. Prince Charles is off to Australia, New Zealand and Papa New Guinea. Prince Harry is lucky enough to be going to Jamaica, Belize and the Ba-

hamas, where he might stage a charity Polo match. The total cost of Royal travel in 2011, much of it funded by the Government? £7 million. 2012? When so many people can’t afford one family holiday this year, I don’t even want to think. The pageant on the Thames, originally mooted by Prince Charles, is going to cost at least £12 million, and will be broadcast live on BBC, ITV and Sky television channels. Now I have no problems with national celebrations being funded by the tax payer if the majority can take part or at least appreciate the event, but the issue at hand is that there are millions of people who are completely indifferent to the monarchy. In an era when we are closing libraries, trebling tuition fees and millions are losing their jobs, how can anybody possibly justify spending such a huge sum of money on an event that is not wholeheartedly supported by everybody? North Tyneside Council is facing a budget cut of approximately £17 million. One of the poorest regions of the UK is having to cut back considerably, but we’re still throwing millions of pounds at one of Britain’s wealthiest families for a few holidays and a day on a boat. Patriotism doesn’t need to cost millions. Put up a flag, sing the national anthem, have a street party. I agree that a national celebration is always fun, but it can surely be remembered without spending such huge sums of money, or at least funded by those who feel strongly about it rather than being shouldered by everybody, even those struggling to feed their families in the recession.


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Student swap: Your place or mine? AMY SHIELDS

L

iving in student houses and university halls of residence is expensive but It’s also fun, chaotic and stressful. However the most important part of moving out of the family home is that you grow up, and learn how to cope with new experiences. The website Unihomeswap is trying to put an end to this by smothering students under a familial regime that would allow them neither independence nor the chance to gain life skills. The scheme, founded by parent Hermione Pask, allows parents to “swap” their children when they go away to university, taking in a student from the town where their child is studying. The obvious benefit to the scheme is clearly financial. With the huge recent increase in student fees and the increasing cost of living, some students are being put off, or are financially simply unable, to attend university. The scheme asks simply for a joining fee of £25 pounds; students do not have to pay for their rooms, and will not necessarily have to pay towards food or bills either. From this perspective, I can see its appeal. Student rent is extortionate; add to that the cost of fuel, water, food and internet, and it’s clear why students struggle financially. Yet money and financial struggle is an inevitable part of adult life; shielding teenagers from the realities of debt and budgeting can only have detrimental effects on their future capability at handling their income. Besides, part of the fun of being a student is being able to swap anecdotal stories with your peers such as the time you lived off of Tesco Value noodles for a month because you couldn’t afford to go shopping.

A typical student house party that participants in the scheme will miss out on Photography: Mahalie Stackpole (Flickr)

Whilst the parents signing up to this scheme often claim that it’s for financial purposes, and to ensure their children get to focus on their course, I cannot help but feel it’s also a ploy by overprotective parents to keep their children wrapped up in cotton wool instead of allowing them to learn to look after themselves. The Unihomeswap website quotes stepfather Simon Appleton as saying that the swap ensured “a really nice, supportive environment”. However the experience of living in halls engenders a community

environment that is more than supportive and many universities offer pastoral care for any students struggling to adjust. Living in student accommodation is a scary step, but everyone around you is in the same boat so you are never left to struggle alone. House swapping would prevent people from developing essential life skills. Yes, the problems can be daunting; you might have an unscrupulous landlord, the boiler might break and you’ll fall out with

your housemates. But learning to resolve these problems is essential, both to maturing and as part of the university experience. While the scheme might be useful for those whose economic circumstances are prohibitive, most students should bite the bullet and learn that they are perfectly capable of standing on their own two feet. Moreover, parents need to realise that their children are now young adults, and should be allowed to fly the nest successfully.

They will be taught and presented by prominent and influential academics, whilst being entirely accessible and free of charge all over the world. This is all well and good when believing that a qualification is all one gets from university. What this new model of learning fails to take into consideration are the extensive extracurriculum opportunities and experiences, not to mention the social benefits, that going to university can give. No doubt the new online courses offer the same, if not better tuition with organised and useful information, awareness of research advances and certification in a subject, but they categorically do not provide the rich social and cultural scene of attending a higher education institute. University is a rare chance to meet a huge variety of people, to flourish in recreational activities and to pursue many diverse opportunities. But, do the social opportunities of physically attending university outweigh the financial benefits of the new online courses? Studying alone is not always easy; it can be challenging, lonely, and only pay true dividend to those with ultimate dedication. Furthermore, in a trial of this new

university structure, the dropout rate was extortionate; over 80% of those who began the course did not complete the final assessments. Although, this may be indicative of the sheer ease of signing up, without financial responsibility or personal contact, this advocates a serious lack of commitment. By no means should the provision of free education or online resources be unwelcome, but, without any financial or social ties, there seems to be no obligation to complete the courses. Technology is best used as a tool for education: to aid, support and enhance more traditional teaching methods. Nothing can beat experiencing education first hand and interacting with other like-minded people face to face. Going to university is an experience itself; employers actively look for candidates who have more to offer than just a degree. Stanford University may have entered Noam’s ‘Dim Future,’ but I hope the rest of the world does not follow suit.

Get a degree from under your Duvet HARRIET SALE

I

t is undeniable that technology has revolutionized education; the growth of the Internet means that multiple resources and vast amounts of knowledge are accessible from any networked device. In many circumstances, it is far easier to watch a lecture at your convenience, where you can go through with notes, at a suitable time, at your own pace and can always pause to ‘Google’ a few things that you do not understand. But is Stanford University taking this concept a step too far in introducing purely ‘Desktop Degrees?’. Back in 1995, academic Eli Noam wrote an article entitled ‘Electronics and the Dim Future of the University,’ on the potential threat of technologies to universities. Indeed, if the Internet has become the ultimate source of information why do students want to end up, after three years of living in

sub-standard accommodation, with a mountain of debt? Stanford University’s response to

Nothing can beat interacting with other likeminded people face to face these questions is the introduction of their three new online courses. Contrary to courses provided by the Open University, the new courses aim to maintain the highest academic standard in tuition with the same level of qualification as a regular degree.

Emails in response to articles should be sent to: editor.union@ncl.ac.uk

The Courier

THE NEWS THAT MADE ME EMILY RAE

#2- Think a Haggis would make a perfect travelling companion I wouldn’t say that the word haggis strikes most people as a delicious delicacy, or more significantly as a source of witty banter or intelligent conversation. In the past, it’s never been seen as a crucial item to pack on a long train journey. But to students like me who have to endure 7 hour journeys (talk about an LDR) on a regular basis, a haggis could well be the answer to unwanted attention. Here’s a secret: haggises on trains, believe it or not, are seen as major security threats. Last week, the British Transport Police were called to a Scottish railway station after passengers had alerted railway staff to a curious item residing in the luggage compartment. This was a 5ft tall papier-mâché model haggis, complete with smiley face and tartan kilt. I don’t know about you but I wouldn’t exactly run away screaming from it if I was confronted in a dark alley. However the fact the haggis was accompanied by a sign stating ‘this haggis needs friends’ does make it sound slightly creepy. It all sounds perfect. If this strange kilted creature was placed beside you no-one would dare take the train seat next to you, ensuring sufficient leg room for a laborious journey. I make no qualms in admitting I am a serious traveller. I book in advance; aisle seat, table seat, quiet carriage. I like to think of it as the business class for poor people. However there are certain people who neglect to see the “no noise” sign. I’ve come to realise there is three types of train passenger in the designated quiet carriage. BILFs (Businessmen….) who sit there with their 2 inch thick document taking up precious space on the limited table space available, but at least they’re not the troublemakers. At least they abide the golden rule in this special superior carriage: No noise. The real difficulties come when you get confronted with a) middle-aged Geordie woman or b) teenage boys. Don’t get me wrong, as a southern girl I’ve come to appreciate the friendliness and warmth that the Geordie accent emits, and have overwhelmingly noticed how much nicer strangers are up North. However this does not mean I want to spend my 7 hour train journey hearing someone’s life story or listen to music blaring out of someone’s phone when I’m trying to catch up on the important TV (Gossip Girl and 90210) I’ve been waiting to watch all week. This is where my Haggis companion would do nicely. Any woman thinking of perching next to me would simply accept my papiermâché friend as a new boyfriend I found up North whilst it probably wouldn’t even register on teenage boy’s radar. It turns out my 5ft unaccompanied friend wasn’t a potential terrorist threat, but merely a practical joke played by college students and is believed to be part of a student art project to mark Burn’s Day, the annual Scottish event that Haggis is traditionally associated with. Funnily enough, this isn’t the only Haggis related news to ever hit the headlines as last year Haggis flavoured chocolates were launched to celebrate Burns Night. Although I am willing to accept the company of a kilted Haggis, I feel that is one step too far.


Letters The Courier

13

Monday February 13 2012

Dear Editor,

I write in concern at information given in this weeks ‘you’ve got problems’ segment. In the first problem someone writes in asking for advice about contact tracing after chlamydia diagnosis and the advice given is that isn’t “STIs are made up. Don’t bother telling anyone, they’ll just laugh at you.” Although I appreciate that the sentiment of the column and response is a joke, I am concerned that this response may cause people not to inform contacts of chlamydia, and this is a serious public health issue. I am a fourth year medical student and have just completed a six week placement in the New Croft sexual health centre and I work for the NHS chlamydia screening programme in Newcastle, doing a lot of screening door to door and in halls of residence, so this is an issue I feel really strongly about! It is estimated that one in ten people aged 16-25 in the north east have chlamydia and it is asymptomatic in 80% of women and 50% of men. If left untreated it can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease in girls and this can cause ectopic pregnancies and infertility. Therefore (and i hate to sound like a bore) i feel it is irresponsible to send

out such incorrect advice in a newspaper whose readership is primarily the age most affected by chlamydia. I appreciate it is obviously too late to do anything about it now, but if you like, I would be happy to write a short article about chlamydia and looking after your sexual health on general. This would be particularly appropriate as the chlamydia screening team are currently doing a lot of work in halls of residence and streets in Jesmond. Id actually really like to produce a short article on sexual health and the services that are available in Newcastle - I can come into the union and talk about this with you this week if you like. At the very least I feel that a short statement should be included in next weeks paper informing students that it is VERY important that people inform past and present sexual contacts if they are diagnosed with chlamydia, that it is very easily treated and informing contacts can be done anonymously by staff at the New Croft centre. Please do get back to me on this! Claire Norman

Any responses to articles should be sent to editor.union@ncl.ac.uk

Dear Claire,

Dear Courier

I understand your concern, and appreciate how you have brought the irresponsible, drink-addled advice of Uncle Monty’s to our attention. I am also glad you have addressed the fact that the article is intended as a joke, as it is in fact produced entirely for entertainment purposes. This is why, given the nature of the article, I am inclined to think that if Uncle Monty had stated that STIs are real, rather than existing solely in My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, which he leads the reader to believe, it would be more damaging than beneficial to its intended audience. Uncle Monty is consistently successful at offering bad advice. I feel, were he to take a turn in the opposite direction it would simply just prove confusing. However, this is not to say I would not be more than happy for you to produce an article addressing the issue of sexual health - I am sure it is highly likely we can print it in a later issue. I hope this response is satisfactory. Kind Regards, Editor

On page 29 I was flabbergasted to see extreme profanity being used multiple times in a graphic display of disregard for the sensitive and delicate feelings of us - the loyal and ever supportive readers of the courier. Furthermore, on page 17 (new years resolutions section) - I think the use of such an explicit and graphic story is not suitable to the audience and may even cause distress to some more sensitive readers. Finally I find it fair to note the distinct lack of an article covering the possible nutritional benefits of strawberry syrup as a pre football supplement, this is clearly a pressing issue after the formal endorsement and 10 year clinical trial on Mr Ba (ref see youtube) Regards Andrew Fretwell & Janesh Wijeratne Dear Andrew and Janesh, Firstly, please accept my sincere apologies on behalf of the Music Section for the offence caused by their ‘Who is number 1 in 1D?’ feature.

Please rest assured that its production caused numerous disputes in the office. I myself am more highly inclined towards Zayn than Harry, and believe Niall is truly deserving of the bottom stop. I also entirely understand your disappointment in regard to the ‘explicit’ nature of the New Year’s resolutions article. But, as I am bound to print truthfully, and include content reflective of the student audience here at Newcastle, I cannot argue with what we were told by our readers. I also found it extremely assuming. However, regarding your final point I can only express my disappointment in both myself and the Sports Section in failing to report on such a development in sports nutrition. I have had strong words with my editors and would like to assure you that an oversight like this will not happen again. If you would like further reassurance, feel free to speak to one of the editors, Colin Henrys. He can be contacted at courier.sport@ncl.ac.uk, or, I believe, conveniently for yourselves, in the same house in which you currently reside. Kind regards, Editor

Best of this week’s online responses Re: Should we bring back the smack? Jonathan Webster: Of course kids should be smacked more. I was smacked as a child when i had done something wrong and i most certainly didn’t repeat my actions! I think that most people between 1825 were smacked as kids and there is no doubt that at 10 years old we were better behaved than the current generations of youths. Just think about how our parents were disciplined as kids, I’ve heard countless stories how my gran used to hit my dad and uncles with a wet tea towel when they did wrong, sometimes she even stood on a chair to get them in the forehead – now that would hurt! Think of the old school punishments too – the cane, having a board rubber thrown at them, being hit over the back of the hand with a ruler! Considering what happened to our parents, is a little slap on the back of the legs really so bad after all? RE: Complaint letter forces Senseless re-branding Anonymous: RIP Common Sense. The name includes no insulting reference towards any social, religious or racial minority and there isn’t a hint of sexism to be found. So what if it includes a sexual innuendo. The vast majority of university students are adults over the age of 18. I’m sure everyone would love to be the person with so little problems in their life their only issue is with the name of

an Intra-Mural football team. The world is not a perfect place and will never be so. If people insist on being marytrs there are far more productive ways than forcing a football team to change it’s name. Anonymous: It seems that are still stuck in the dark ages where (in this case debatable) some people don’t respect women, (not debatable…) some people are also homophobic! No the person in question isn’t gay. I’m appauled that a straight man that respects women is so rare that it seems to shock you all! Whether or not you agree or not with the complaint people are still entitlied to have different opinions and shouldn’t be abused for it! thank god some people do think differently! If everyone thought like the above we would be living in a very narrow minded scary world. RE: Five reasons why...Example is an odious cretin W John: The Courier, supporting British breakthrough talent. Exactly the kind of oneside, odious article I’d expect to read in something like the Daily Mirror’s ‘celebrity’ columns. Just quietly, I’ve got a feeling the Pizza Express comment might be tongue-in-cheek as well. For real, terrible, trashy, “ravey-butwithout-the-poppers pop”, I’d send you in the direction of someone like ‘Ke$ha’, and Example’s got it bang on….

To respond to this week’s articles visit

thecourieronline.co.uk


14

Monday 13 February 2012

The Courier

Valen and w ss by le dre .99 l u t £12 CreamLook, £44 Primark, .9 y 4 b w 2 Ne heels &M, £ Blackdress by H, £9.99 k Pin s by H&M k, £2 Shirt by Primar , £55 Ties ers, ASOS Trous


The Courier

Monday 13 February 2012

ntyne wear

Photography and Editing by Moises Bedrossian Modelled by Rory Brigstock-Barron and Katie McCraith Make-up by Abi Heath Hair Styling by Rosanna Sopp Directed by Moises Bedrossian, Victoria Mole and Rosanna Sopp

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16

Monday 13 February 2012

Adrian Mole hits the dirty 30s

The Courier

di-a-ry noun plural: ries a daily record, usually private, especially of the writer’s own experiences, observations, feelings, attitudes, etc.

Diaries are an institution that have been going on for as long as men could write, recording thoughts, feelings or just generally your life’s activities. Adrian Mole’s disastrous and self-destructive life began in 1982, where we found out the world really was set against this unfortunate teenager. To celebrate 30 years of Adrian and his despicable life, students have cringingly opened up their old diaries and found out why there are some things that should not be held onto for sentimental value.

Dear diary,

Failed my driving test toda the examiner said I’d manay. When do the forty-five minute teged to twenty minutes I was well st in but he refused to high-fivechuffed, some reason. I got another me for challenging old Mrs Figg to major for race against her mobility scoa drag the lights in town. I destr oter at though. I knew she’d bottloyed her all mouth. She might have e it, she’s hip, but she’s got no spine. a titanium

Tom Nicholson, age 18

¼ years d n a 2 1 3 ry 200 wledged as 26th Janua fully ackno

n be ay that I ca d e th is y a ... Ok, tod ble woman a fi ti s Dear di ju e u the last a tr ary, hat it is, as n w t e g y ll a e e giv n’t r t o o d g I e , w d I n io r e had a h pe ...I got my sed it was in year 6 w appens when a went to good day tod h s t u a c w h is o a on’t kn hown w time I d let us to the farm and y we pack and s wl of water, which I d uring. e is t o u u c q r h tu the anim hey s o a touched s in a big b horrifying than reas but as e o g t h n o e p pig and als i tam iod ore looked r e m p s t a s r w fi the d y e s a m liked m t me and i th pig if they reali ve me a book called ely black and had in e a tir down o because then k it My mum g front page, it was en red with a speech n me a e ca nd it w it sat get off I opened th pon on it looking s ying ‘where am I?’ I a n d m a t s ta hen Mrs ouldn’t said the a cartoon ing out of its mouth d for womanhood. I Pa e was sad pig was dead. rker bubble com as completely prepar um I was no longer T m w liked th coz i liked th hat e pig. I don’t feel I tairs to explain to my nt of mother-daughe dog t it was h o e s t urt or s o but i think went down and expected a mom goodness, I though i o t me k l w n ir as tryin her little g but instead I got ‘tha ith you’. So I just g to cli thing coz t h e w mb o back g ter bondin be something wrong as on and went couldn’ of the girl do ver m t ja h p g t ig . y g but in He kept there m his leg tairs, put m st of the day wonder a s t r p y u i k n c g a o b v plodded have be er though so to get pent the re tomorrow, it may be s I . V T e d h e Mrs Par n a brave dog e must and watch ld be back at school going to go out. I . k Th e ly u r b if Lewis wo I think we are proba or do they ask you? I ing at the said to stop lo en , t d o bit soon bu to be my valentine girl so hard. I would to go home ogs and we ha kd im . a h W g k e h s wanna e might a hyyy is bein e and clever and lov be a far n i grow up i .w … w w w watch d m don’t kno ke him to, he’s so nic ggghhh….I just ogs and er then i can r li a U h l . c look at l s u e s t m s h h e time very pigs ally nice gla oing to try and sit wit e r s a h e h g . m s a n ly and I e Tom Nic holson, what happ sk me out, age 5 wish he’d a ow in maths and see r r o m to him

tober 2005 c O h t 0 1 y Monda ears 14 and ½ y opefully report. h o , t x h o c lc u i m W r. Not , helped M grade. Talked to d o o g s a w rt PE o an A effo ampolining club t y a w y m r on olf LOL. T rn back sommies g t u o b a a him ted to re-le osh r a t s , n u f s J wa home with d e lk a w d an !! oked weed m s m o D , OMFG


The Courier

17

Monday February 13 2012

Saturday 15th October 2005 - 14 and ½ years

Went to town with Steve, Jack and Sam to see Wallace and Gromit. First we went to McDonalds and had a hilarious convo. Jack kept on saying gay stuff about cum and the mayo on his Chicken Premier. Then I said ‘I don’t even know why you open your mouth sometimes… Well I do for gay stuff ’ LOL. Then a lorry with “CUMbrian sausages” printed on the side came by. Got new Franz Ferdinand album and saw some Chinese monks meditating. It was something to do with them being tortured by a communist party for meditating: force fed, beaten, water cage etc. Horrible. Went to the £1 shop and bought a BB Gun. LOL. Then went home and had to go babysit for the Smiths. Watched Wallace and Gromit: The Wrong Trousers. Soooo good. Then we played on Smackdown and I sent them to bed. I watched the sexfiles then had a wank. Broke the lock on the toilet door. S***. I didn’t tell them and got overpaid - £30 for 5 hours. Then went home to bed. Dirty texted Jennie.

Mark n’t make t’s id d I . n I ry, ead mea ike that. Dear Dia always d doesn’t look l s ’ e h S . d nal milk known rs. McDo I hate M he should have al now. on Friit , ble test eat PVA ult he’s in hosp ta s e im t fa e got a not my our. We’v v a f a him n I did ays she I recko always s e in to see e h S . h g u m day. as to co r she ngry tho e well a me when she h e day. I tell he b to g with of th ’s goin My mum now what to do me for the rest o k h doesn’t and take me But last Towers. the Head e me to Alton out this!” have b a s r a e k h he had to ur Dad s could ta until yo icia’s hair and s for two month it a w t s l l u r o A J e “ o h s h in c e ff s sked nish e go Then sh n I put red var d then stayed o Miss. Rogers, a hoking e r, c n e h a t h w r c f , tea d of time as sta our new s choppe e did w e tomato her plait she came back ear skirts, all h o get him som g n w and whe re allowed to and ask me to e s w ip s if boy and ch ausage tables. on his s eat vege t ’ n . o e d c u I sa cause sauce be to a m to like I don’t Chris

Dear di ary,

Aged 12

Valentin e’s Day today. M Steel’s d anaged esk, but to surre w “Who is ptitious Tam Mic hen she opene ly leave d it she kleson? ‘Happy H a card just ask Is he n anukka on ew?” I g ed the h’ on th egg and r o oom at Anna e t f written a card ront, an lar from F “I think shop an d insid at Karen ge, e she’d d boug y o u ’r e ht the 1 . It said drawn 2” single simply CRACKI a pictur e of an NG”. We of ‘Heav Tom Nic nt to th en Know holson, e recor s I’m M age 15 d iserable Now’.

Dear Diary,

I don’t care about Valentine’s Day. Really, I don’t. Honestly. I don’t care. I don’t care at all that Lucy and Katy and Claire are all going out with their boyfriends to Pizza Hut and that Mark has bought Gemma that giant rabbit with the big pink heart that I, YES I, saw in the window of Clintons last week. It had bog eyes though and no one wants a teddy with bog eyes. I don’t like pizza. Really. Kate

Aged 15 and 3/4 27th April 2 011 - 19.5 y ears Oh m

y god. I th ink it is fa ir to say th greatest - to at today is day will be up there wit c o mpared wit the Corona h the h the end o tion of the f World War Queen, poss ly dramatic ibly (though Two, ) a person I may be be raising from test eeeee… in g slightthe dead. I Not even in passed my a casual ‘15 type way. N driving -minors-yo O MINORS. T u-scrape-th hat means a good dri rough’ in legal dri ver. Stupid v in g testy term a nnoying dri known as th s I am ving instruc e world’s m tor lady (oth ost depress by going “I e rwise ing person) don’t know pissed on m how you did was your ex y parade it, I though aminer asle t you would ep?” Well, I anyone. I p fail won’t be rec ut my prett ommending y stickers o it, because her to n my car a apparently nd stood in you have to car and no f ro nt of a ctually have t just a lice insurance to nce. Highly dad decide drive a disappointi d to pay fo ng. Luckily r me to go I was cruis m y lo a vely nd 7 hours ing - unfort after passin unately I h to Tesco to g my test ad nowhere get toilet ro to go so ju ll for the re Dad says I st w ent turn trip to can drive m Newcastle to yself back 2 cats, 1 pa mozzy. up, yeaahhh ir of examin baby! 2 years ers’ trousers WOOOOOOO!! , £ 1500, , 1 wall and ! I can finall y drive.


18.lifestylesex&relationships

Monday 13 February 2012

The Courier

thecourieronline.co.uk/lifestyle c2.lifestyle@ncl.ac.uk

Never have I ever... A great drinking game, a way to acquire a ‘cheeky’ reputation... We share some of our greatest discoveries. Whether you just play it for fun or use it as an embarrassing drinking game, we all love to hear about our friends’ hilarious antics. Here is a collection of the best and worst we’ve heard at Newcastle University. Never have I ever... ...had sex on roller skates ...refused sex and made up for it by cooking them a fry-up ...had sex in a ten-bed dorm room ...fallen asleep during sexual activities ...put my iPod on whilst in the middle of the act …called out the wrong guy’s name during sex …learnt another language just to impress a guy …lied about being an Oxford graduate to pull a hot guy …thrown up on my driving examiner during my driving test …been in denial over the naughty things I’ve done …had sex in the disabled toilets in the Union …caused vomiting dominoes in a lecture by throwing up on the person in front of me - causing them to vomit …blamed my loss of dignity on alcohol …had accidental-anal …ended up in hospital from manly fluids ending up in my eye and burning …broken a bone during sex ...said “whoah! I didn’t know humans could make that sound” ...had sex in the car and accidentally honked the horn ...rented a porno ...got someone drunk just to have sex with them ...given someone some cheeky attention whilst they’re driving ...had sex on a trampoline ...accidentally texted my dad a dirty message that was meant for my boyfriend These are just a sample of some of the things we’ve heard and we hope that your time at Newcastle has been as eventful as ours has proven to be. Think you’ve done worse? Email us with your stories at c2.lifestyle@ncl.ac.uk

Double Blind Date

Sophie Ryan, 3rd year History of Art and English Literature, and Hannah Fisher, 3rd year Physiological Sciences Sophie

Hannah

What first impression did they give you? The first impression was very good, they picked us up from my house in a taxi and greeted us both with flowers, which was very cute, and they even opened the car door for us! Both guys were dressed well too, which was definitely a bonus! They were really polite and the conversation in the taxi down to the Quayside wasn’t the awkward small talk it could have been.

What first impression did they give you? The two of us were pretty nervous before they arrived – when the doorbell went they most likely heard us ‘shotgunning’ not answering. Nevertheless they were standing side-by-side on the doorstep with flowers, opened the doors of the taxi for us and were generally very gentlemanly. It was a good start to the evening.

On a scale from one to One Direction how cute were they? I don’t think anyone could ever be as cute as One Direction... sorry guys!

Did you notice any atrocious pulling techniques? I would love to have seen some questionable pulling techniques (purely so I could publicly embarrass them both) but, alas, there were none.

If you were to get married and have babies, which traits from these two guys would you NOT want them to inherit? It would have to be Tom’s weird fear of belly buttons (he got really quite distressed discussing it) and Tristan’s liking for girlie drinks (which got him much abuse from the bar man in The Slug and Lettuce). Where did you wake up the next morning? Cheeky!!!!!! In my own bed of course… alone!!!! If you were to accidentally drunk text them, what do you think you would say? To be honest judging by my usual drunk texts it would probably just be a string of incoherent letters and punctuation marks, it’s normally a real guessing game as to what I was ever trying to say. However, failing that, probably something hideously embarrassing about really enjoying our date. Did they make any romantic gestures? Well the flowers at the beginning of the date were pretty cute and they also bought the most rounds of drinks, so if that counts, then yes! At any point did you find yourself in an awkward situation? When they first arrived my housemates all took the opportunity to stick their heads out of various rooms in the house and pass comments, ooo-ing and aww-ing as the boys gave us the flowers… that was slightly embarrassing especially as one of my housemates already knew Tristan! There was also a rather embarrassing moment when we started telling stories about a friend we all had in common and I put my foot in it BIG style… wooops! Which guy would you say you got on with the most? I’d say I got on with them both pretty equally to be honest, they were both lovely guys and I’d happily spend time with either of them again. But if we have to pick favourites I’d say Tom as I had the most to talk about with him. Would you meet them again? Yeah I think I would! We all had a real laugh and if I ever needed any more useless facts about flea circuses or a good ‘Take Me Out’ discussion I’d definitely give them a call. They also didn’t judge Hannah and me for ending the night having a pint rather than another cocktail, which definitely earned them mega points! How would you mark the date out of 10? I’d give it a solid 8.5 as I had a real laugh and a genuine good time with both Tom and Tristan.

Did you open the ex-files? Not necessarily ex-files but when a certain boy came up in conversation, Soph (bless her), put her foot in it and somewhat embarrassed me. Good job I can laugh at myself. If you were to get married and have babies, which traits from these two guys would you NOT want them to inherit? Tristan is allergic to some of the most random things I’ve ever heard, including fish and peas. I would never want my children to go through the pain of having to order a battered sausage at a chippy and miss out on the blissful pleasure that is mushy peas. When the topic of conversation moved onto strange phobias, Tom shared his fear of belly buttons with us. I’m all for a strange phobia but I would rather my children didn’t fear their own stomachs. Tristan also has knowledge of the ‘Flea Circus’ (yes, you read correctly), which is far too advanced for any normal person. I think I’d like my children to play sport instead of playing with bugs. On a scale from one to Lord Voldemort how awkward was the hug goodbye? I wasn’t aware that Lord Voldemort was considered awkward - but I’d say it wasn’t really at all; I hugged them both and thanked them for a fun evening. Was there any naughtiness at the end of the night? I’m currently writing this in my onesie preparing to have a great spoon with my hot water bottle. Question answered. Do you think they are Daddy material? Steady on! Which guy would you say you got on with the most? As the four of us were chatting together all night, I don’t think I could single out one guy that I got on with the most. However, I probably had the most in common with Tristan as we both do the same course and share the same watersports and skiing hobbies. Would you meet them again? If they wanted to go for a drink again then I’d probably say yes. I’m sure we’ll bump into each other around uni or in Sinners fairly soon anyway. How would you mark the date out of 10? I must admit that I have actually never been on a date before so I had nothing to compare it to! However, I reckon as far as dates go it was pretty good. I think the topics of conversation, spontaneous Googling of random facts and discussions of the menu of Tasty Jacks all made for a fun night. 7/10.


The Courier

Monday 13 February 2012

sex&relationshipslifestyle.19 Lifestyle Editors: Ben Parkin, Emma Balter, and Lauren Stafford Online Editor: Lauren Cordell

Double Blind Date

Tom Warren, 2nd year Economics, and Tristan Tinn, 2nd year Biomedical Sciences Tom

Tristan

What first impression did they give you? The girls opened the door looking great and were extremely friendly from the offset, massively appreciating the huge effort we made with the bouquet of reduced flowers from Waitrose. Admittedly, in the hecticness of meeting each other for the first time, we somehow forgot the introductions, meaning it wasn’t until the first bar that I actually asked the girls who was who. Man needs to know his territory.

What first impression did they give you? My first impression of the girls was great; they definitely seemed like they were up for a good time, judging from the excited giggles I could hear coming from the other side of the front door. Upon the door opening I’m happy to say that impression certainly did not change, the girls happily accepted our far-from-impressive offering of flowers and then we all jumped in the taxi.

On a scale from Katie Price to Kate Middleton how good were their manners? These girls make Kate Middleton look like a kebab-munching mess! Both Hannah and Sophie were really polite from the moment we met and were a pleasure to chat to throughout the night. Despite our reluctance, they offered to buy a couple of rounds for us themselves, which only added to the great impression they made.

Where did you choose to go on your date? We headed down to the Quayside, first stop was the Slug & Lettuce where I think we took full advantage of the great 2-4-1 cocktail offerings, and made friends with the lad on the bar when going up to buy rounds! We then walked along the edge of the Tyne to Pitcher and Piano where we unfortunately only had time for a swift pint.

If you were to get married and have babies, which traits from these two girls would you NOT want them to inherit? It came out that both the girls have strong dislike of bare feet! Now since I was blessed with a great pair of hobbit-like, pale swimming flippers, if this trait was to be passed down to our children, my offspring would never even approach me! If they were to go on Snog, Marry, Avoid what do you think the majority of people would say? I think Hannah and Soph would be much more suited to go on Keith Lemon’s alternate show: “Shag, Marry, Mot out.” Once on there, I’m quite certain nearly the entire population would vote Mot out for both girls – MOT MOT MOT! At any point did you understand why they were single? The only understandable reason I could see why these girls are still single, is due to either their own prerogative, or to the deplorable state of the available men in Newcastle. You know who you are; stumbling through the streets, scuttling around Sinners, preying on the easiest girls you can find. Sort your lives out lads! Which girl would you say you got on with the most? Oooh, that’s a really tough question! Once we were all together the conversation flowed easily between the four of us and everyone got on great, but I’m going to give Sophie the nod over Hannah because we seemed to have a similar sense of humour. Would you meet them again? I think we’d all meet again, but probably only as friends getting together to have a laugh. Maybe an invite to one of their ‘Chin the Bin’ prelashes is on the cards, or potentially meeting up in Tasty Jacks after a night out. How would you mark the date out of 10? The four of us were in some untested waters with this whole double blind date scenario. What if one girl was significantly more interesting, and much fitter than the other? It could have been a disaster. However, I think we all had a fun evening. It was a welcome change spending money on some nice drinks, at some nice bars on the river, and taking time to get to know these girls. Overall though, I think the whole date felt more like meeting new flatmates for the first time; just having a laugh with not much romance in mind. A healthy 7 is fair.

On a scale from Susan Boyle to Megan Fox how sexy were they? Hard to say due to the age difference between Megan and Susan ... but as I’m sure you can see from the article photograph, both these girls are on the right tracks to achieving Fox’s level of ‘essence’. If you were to get married and have babies, which traits from these two girls would you NOT want them to inherit? For Hannah, seeing as her biggest fear is crabs (the crustacean kind!) I’m going to have to say that as a kid I was a great fan of ‘crabbing’ and it’s something I’d want my kids to enjoy without a wimpy wife getting in the way! What was the weirdest thing about them? Dropping Sophie off to find out she had a car that wouldn’t look out of place in Rick Ross’ latest video, I’m surprised I’m yet to spot her and her homies cruising through the mean streets of Jesmond disturbing the peace. For Hannah I’d say it has to be the thought of seeing her in McDonalds smashing 40 chicken nuggets in one sitting; or her views on how to butter bread onto a sandwich- I thought all girls get training on the correct preparation of a sandwich?! Which girl would you say you got on with the most? I’d say I got on just slightly better with Hannah (sorry Sophie!). There was just slightly more in common, both academic and recreational interests; skiing, wakeboarding and sailing to name a few! But Sophie’s still a great gal who would definitely deserve a treble in Sinners (even at the now almighty £2.50). Would you meet them again? I’d definitely be up for joining this pair for a game of ‘chin the bin’ before heading on to Sinners or CCTV. Unfortunately I don’t think a second ‘date’ is on the cards however- sorry to disappoint girls! How would you mark the date out of 10? I’d give the date a steady 7/10. It was a great evening but more of a laugh with friends. Don’t worry girls, I’m still on the market!

Tashin’ on in the Toon Victoria Mole

I’ve been under strict instruction from my editors not to meet anyone before the 14th so that I could spread single cheer in my column for those who wouldn’t be too busy buying last minute gifts to read it. Although, they needn’t have worried as I’m an unrivalled expert on the subject: 2012 will be my nineteenth Valentine’s Day single. From where I stand, it’s not something to be pitied or celebrated. I never feel sadder or happier to be single than on Valentine’s Day- it’s your annual reminder of everything that’s incredible, and incredibly stressful, about having a beau. My most important piece of advice for coping with Cupid choosing to ignore you is: if you are in the I-hate-Valentine’s-Day Brigade, leave it now. Your anti-commercialism is as bitter as the PDA couple in Asda is sickly, and a negative attitude towards romance is a self-fulfilling prophecy. Valentine’s is essentially a day when someone wants to show somebody else that they think they’re special; with all the stress people face, surely we should encourage the frisky lovebirds? (Though, we ask them to celebrate privately...) If you can’t be cured of your Grinchdom, you may have to come to terms with the prospect of cats in the distant future. It’s too easy to let a broken heart bring out unattractive traits, and indulging in any pain will always prolong it; feeling the love whether you’re single or not is what will improve your chances of being in a relationship the following Valentine’s Day. Be grateful that you’re not attached to those who enjoy Valentine’s Day too much: the serial monogamist. For the serial monogamist (i.e. never single), Valentine’s feeds their insatiable lust for the “honeymoon period”. They will flirt, flatter and stand for everything synthetic about romance to protect themselves from their own insecurity. It’s the secondary school relationship all over again when people are in love with love rather than the person they’re with; the meaning of “in love” is lost on these infatuations. If you want to celebrate with chocolate and flowers, who says that physical attraction has to be involved? A take-away with your best friend can become a beautiful evening sharing bedtime stories as well as a bed. Alternatively, Valentine’s is the most popular night to “get lucky” and, should your principles permit, this isn’t restricted to those in relationships. A single person can spend Valentine’s Day in the same way as a couple and is more likely to enjoy it without the pressure of expectations. If you love someone, you should (in a non-smothering way) let them know this every day. If you have your eye on someone, use Valentine’s Day as motivation to take action. My great grandmother used to say that you could spend your life hidden in a barrel and the one that you’re meant to end up with will knock it over and you’ll roll out. It’s not exactly how I envision meeting my soulmate, but the sentiment’s there. Remember, if you were desperate to meet someone, you would have resorted to Internet dating, but you haven’t settled; being single is by choice, not opportunity. For now, single ladies, it’s time to anticipate an even more epic occasion coming our way - Pancake Day.


20.lifestyle

Monday 13 February 2012

The Courier

Romance.com?

Top 5

Niche Dating Websites

Olivia Bowden delves into the world wide web of online dating

1. http://www.tallfriends.com If you are super tall and find yourself frequently peering down at your potential suitors, tallfriends.com might be the online dating website for you. It specifically targets singletons of a specific stature. Users aren’t required to meet a minimum height before they can begin constructing a profile as the site claims to bring together ‘tall beautiful women, tall handsome men and those tall people admirers’. Claiming to be the best place for tall dating-minded singles from USA, UK, Canada, Australia, Europe and more, tallfriends.com offers online chat, daily tall news and tall-tailored dating tips.

2. http://trekpassions.com/ Calling all Science-Fiction lovers! On trekpassions you can find others who share your enthusiasm for Sci-Fi. It’s especially suitable for anyone who has a deep rooted passion for Star Trek and Star Wars as here you can find both love and lightsabers. There’s no longer any need to trawl those annual conventions for your Princess Leia. Save the train fare and create yourself an account now. Your dream Jedi is just one click away.

If you’re struggling to get a date the traditional way perhaps it’s time to put aside your reservations and take the plunge into the world of online dating. Despite some negative press, the phenomenon of Internet dating has made a massive effort in the last year to shake its ‘desperate’ image. The market is diversifying with the introduction of more specialist sites set to target certain groups from OAPS to those looking to bag a millionaire. So with this in mind, and Valentine’s Day looming, I set up a profile on Plentyoffish.com to explore if online dating really has transformed its once geeky identity into a fun, modern solution for young, student singletons. The first challenge was to choose a flattering picture of myself to upload. This wasn’t an easy task, considering I am unafraid to take full advantage of Newcastle’s nightlife and, as a result, was stuck choosing between tagged photos of drunken nights out in the cage at Sinners or mobile uploads of hangover breakfasts in Nando’s. Next, I had to fill out a detailed application form, The site expected me to describe in detail my physical appearance and that of my ideal ‘love match’. The application was a surreal mix of seriously probing questions such as ‘do you want children?’ and more, light-hearted, whimsical ones like ‘how do you feel about puzzles and crosswords?’I left my profile online for 24 hours to see what rewards my carefully considered answers would reap. The result: 22 personal messages, 1 marriage proposal and 1 ‘booty call’. The ‘caught fish’ were an eclectic mix of men ranging in age from 21 to 41 and in cheesiness from 1 to 100. Here are a few examples...

Mr. Horny

He scored top marks for crudeness. His message asked if I wanted ‘to go and stay at his’. The shamelessly presumptuous headline on his profile read ‘the first date is all about the chemistry, chemistry, chemistry! We would head back to mine and get my old chemistry and maybe a wee love potion would do the trick!’.

Mr. Jailbird

A 41-year-old builder who private messaged me saying ‘fancy a chat or marriage or something’. His age and blunt message was already enough to waver my faith in the plentyoffish.com methods of matchmaking. This waver was severely secured when I scrolled down his profile too see that he claimed to be a ‘really bad guy’ having just spent time in prison.

Mr. Oddball

Having received a message from someone who wasn’t old enough to be my father, things were finally looking up. He described himself as a cross between Stephen Fry and Chandler from Friends. However, his potential was ruined as I realised he had pictures of himself posing with a Ken doll. Having outgrown Barbie many years ago, I felt like this was one romance that even Mattel couldn’t manufacture.

Mr. Foot Massage He sent a rather disturbing message at two in the morning asking if I would like to meet up for a ‘foot job’. He also asked about the size of my feet and my hosiery preference. I didn’t know what ‘foot job’ was but I knew I didn’t want one from a stranger on the Internet – maybe he was a closet podiatrist!

Mr. R.E.S.P.E.CT

A convincing look alike of Sean Paul whose romantic headline was ‘If i’M LiEinG... I’m dYiNg!!!’. He described himself as an original ‘ghetto boy’ who socially smokes and has an athletic body type. After sifting through several self-portraits in which he was sucking on a lollipop, I decided this fish wasn’t the one for me.

3. http://www.vampersonals.com Here you can meet the vampire of your dreams and discover the dark side of life together. However, it’s probably a bit disappointing for all you Twilight fans as it’s unlikely you’ll find a match as handsome as Edward Cullen or as beautiful as Bella Swan. Vampersonals.com has fake wax fangs and black bin-liner cloaks in abundance − perfect if your favourite holiday is Halloween but otherwise steer clear.

4. http://www.scientificmatch.com A lifetime membership to this website is a bargain at just under one hundred pounds. Promising to revolutionize the online dating scene, scientificmatch.com offers DNA testing to determine ultimate compatibility rates. Analysing individual DNA samples, the service promise to determine which members are a match for procreating so as to avoid disappointment later.

5.http://www.darwindating.com Created solely for the use of ‘beautiful people’, surely this website doesn’t comply with anti-discrimination laws. Their strict rules and gruelling online selection process ensures that all potential matches have winning looks. This is an exclusive club for only the most attractive singletons so, if you’re considering an application, better get on Photoshop to be on the safe side. Kerstin Vogel

Love, lust and technology

The internet isn’t killing romance, it’s creating it. Amelia Wareing explores how you can put the spark back in your love life Today technology and love go handin-hand as the increasing development of the Internet has seriously changed the way we approach our relationships. Undoubtedly using the web to find affection doesn’t always result in a positive outcome and I’m sure ‘Facebook stalking’ has destroyed many a fledgling romance. In those dark days before social networking, couples met on nights out, through friends or at the train station (as match.com would have us believe), however, nowadays, whether we like it or not, technology plays a major part in helping us find and keep our perfect partner.

Skype: going the distance

Grindr: Right here, right now

Sexting: for the lazy lover

Looking to maintain a long distance relationship? Fire up Skype. Long gone are the days of the landline − now we can call someone up over the Internet. It’s perfect for a marathon interrupted chat even if it is Internet by a dodgy nection. conmonths After apart, nothing beats being able to look into your loved one’s eyes and hear their slightly crackly mechanical voice. Skype is something of a relationship revelation - and it’s free! God bless the inventor of the webcam.

With the development of dating websites nurturing the desire to find a partner for life, a crop of new websites and apps have been developed to cater for those looking for something a little less long-term. A particularly popular app for Android, Blackberry and iPhone is Grindr. Launched in 2009 in the United States, it quickly gained global popularity. It allows users to see who’s in the area and updates wherever you go in the country so each login creates an opportunity to chat with someone new. Although the app is intended for ‘making friends,’ it is mostly used to check who is ‘up-for-it’ in the locality. The popularity of Grindr, which is specifically for guys looking to find other guys, has led to the development of Blendr, an app for straight users. So there’s no need to whip out those cheesy chat-up lines and square up to the embarrassment of face to face rejection, as these applications cut out the awkward pulling stage completely and make searching for a sexual partner easier than ever.

Take texting, mix it with a little bit of sex, and voila, sexting! It can be used to keep a spark in a relationship or to establish a sexual relationship between a couple who are yet to do the deed. The most skilled of sexters can carry this off with aplomb but for the vast majority it takes practise to establish a decent rapport without sounding like someone on the end of a bad £1 a minute phone line. However, once you’ve got the hang of it, it’s the ultimate technological tool for the lazy lover. The beauty of sexting is that it requires minimum effort and you can do it anywhere or at anytime. If you’re between lectures or waiting for the bus there’s nothing simpler than clicking send. Just a word of caution − make sure you scroll down your phonebook with care as there’s nothing worse than realising you’ve sent a carefully composed erotic message to a poor, unsuspecting member of your seminar group.

Illustrations: Daisy Billowes


The Courier

lifestyle.21

Monday 13 February 2012

Is that a banana in your pocket or...?

For the lonely hearts among us, Valentine’s Day makes you question where you’re going wrong. It’s important to revise your moves regularly to ensure it’s up to scratch. Lauren Cordell routes around campus to find the best and worst chat up lines ever ll at-up line?conversation with a girl, I stop, te Your best ch ky ee a ch of a e dl then with the mid

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Soph, 20, English Literature

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There’s nothing wrong with a bit of Dutch courage but no-one’s ever found love at the bottom of a pint of Diesel. Take into account the curse of the treble − the more spirits you consume, the more your standards will drop. You’ll only have yourself to blame when you see the photos on Facebook the next morning.

Work on your non-verbal cues. Sitting with your head in your hands is probably a dead giveaway that you’re bored out of your mind. Learn how to feign interest on demand. The outcome of any potential liaison can be secured by a few choice enthusiastic facial expressions.

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Even in a clubbing environment, circling your date like a hungry vulture is not acceptable. It might be called Tiger Tiger but that doesn’t give you an excuse to release your inner predator − remember to keep those jungle instincts restrained, no matter how appetising your prey looks. Similarly, dancing alluringly ‘at’ someone is ill advised especially if you choose to creep up behind them like an overly enthusiastic, sexually charged poltergeist.

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for student singletons

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De Zara, 19,

ntistry

Don’t be too sentimental Unless you’ve got a valid reason, for instance serious physical discomfort, you shouldn’t be welling up in the early stages of a relationship. Don’t cry in public. If you’re secretly heartbroken make a polite excuse, take yourself home and listen to The Cure in a dark and solitary room. Lauren Stafford


22.lifestyle

Monday 13 February 2012

The Courier

thecourieronline.co.uk/lifestyle c2.lifestyle@ncl.ac.uk

The five worst places to take your date

What at first might seem like a brilliant idea for a Valentine’s Day excursion may be more prone to disaster than you realise. Olivia Mason ensures you know what you’re getting yourself into

Shorthand

Latin and Ballroom Society Who? The LBS society. Which would stand for…? The Latin and Ballroom Society. Dancing if you’re still not there. Where? Freeman Hall, Castle Leazes. Undoubtedly the place to be on a Tuesday and/ or Thursday evening. Fear not if you’ve never stepped out in ballet pumps or tap shoes before - this is dance with sass and style. Of which I know neither, let alone the issue of my two left feet. Any solutions? Well there’s free taster sessions on Wednesday 15th and Thursday 16th this month, and anyone is welcome - the classes are fun and friendly. ‘We teach fun classes focusing on moves, technique, partner-work and styling.’ Salsa in the first session and Latin and Ballroom in the second. And for the pros? There’s a performance team set to perform at the IFAM soon, as well as attendance at dance events where moves are put into practice… Try Salsa Amor at the Black Swan to see members strut their stuff on a Friday evening. Fabulous. But what if there’s a distinct lack of willing dance ‘partners’ (victims)? No partner/friends needed. But comfy shoes are a must. Beginners classes are on at 8-9pm and intermediates at 9-10pm. Partying until late I see… On occasion yes - socials are in order from time to time, which helps people get to know each other. Ask friends who’ve been about the event that took place on Sunday 12th - ‘Latin Fusion.’ A whole day of workshops, with classes from beginners and 12 available styles including the cha cha, Cuban salsa, and bachata (sounds more like the tapas for dinner than dancing but we’re assured it’s all legit). A schedule for total beginners means the society is totally ‘raw talent’ friendly, and keen for new faces. Not sure if I don’t prefer the sanctity of Sinners and the courage delivered by a good deal on trebles… ‘Learn to dance sober’ was the strap lineand what’s more they headed out after to clubs anyway. Best of both, what more could you ask for? A sexy Latino dance partner..? Who knows, you might just get lucky… why not go along and see for yourself…

Nonie Heal

For more information about the society or how to join, contact President Jenny Whitehead at j.h.whitehead@ncl.ac.uk or on 07760387101

5

Cinema

The cinema as a date venue can really go either way. On the one hand, it’s a pretty easy option as it’s something to pass the time, guaranteeing no awkward silences and something to talk about before and after the cinema. However, there is plenty of room for it to go horribly wrong and therefore, in my opinion, something to avoid for the following reasons. Firstly, you can pick the wrong film: think of all the people who went to see Shame on a first date and found themselves faced with the most uncomfortable social situation possible (watch the trailer if this makes no sense). Secondly, if the date is a genuinely blind one, do you really want to be alone in the dark with that person for two hours? Thirdly, 3D films are the biggest no-no. You have to pay extra on top of a most likely pricey cinema trip (no one is organized enough to date on an Orange Wednesday), while you have to wear the most unattractive accessory known to man – 3D glasses!

4

Anywhere outdoors

I know we are going to university in a town where even in the midst of winter, skirts are on average 17cm shorter than those in the South, but you need to pay heed to the weather. As lovely as a spontaneous picnic in the park on the 14th February sounds, complete with tartan blanket and sausage rolls, unless you have several layers of down clothing it will not be a pleasant experience for either of you.

Especially when you’ll have to fight across an east coast wind which I can’t imagine mixes well with candles. This also goes for a walk along the Quayside… the name Baltic is a clue. Furthermore, despite numerous attempts by the Guardian fashion webpages, it is very difficult to dress attractively and practically. My advice: stay indoors.

3

Anywhere Rah-like

Unless you are trying to impress a rah then the next no-go is anywhere that rahs would venture. Even if you are one of Newcastle’s fully fledged rahs you don’t want to give the game away on the first date - with so many of them about our campus it is just so boring to be like everyone else. So avoid Pret (say you prefer your coffee from organically sourced outlets), and definitely avoid Hollister as you will not be able to see your date, unless you happen to keep a head torch on you. And even if you had the most amazing gap year experience, try not to bore your date senseless by enlightening them on how culturally aware you now are. Oh and leave the gilet at home.

2

Think of all the people who went to see Shame on a first date and found themselves faced with the most uncomfortable social situation possible.

Your house

Even though we are all students and want to avoid spending money, inviting your date round to your house is just a bit too far. Firstly, it just screams desperate, especially when your bedroom door is wide open, you have clean sheets on

Illustration:

your bed, and a box of condoms on the bedside table. Then you have to explain yourself when they open your fridge and it’s full of reduced Waitrose goods (not that I am against this, but you don’t want to look cheap eh?). Then there is the major issue of flatmates - the potential for embarrassment here is just too great a risk. Even the nicest flatmate in the world can turn evil the moment a new potential date walks through the door. And if you’re living at home, unless your parents are literally on another continent or you were an incredibly cute baby, the thought of your house as a date venue shouldn’t even enter your head.

1

A night out

This is possibly the worst idea for a date ever. Unless you want a one night stand, in which case, why are you on a date anyway? Just head to the Gate solo. Sinners is hardly romantic, Sam Jacks is now a strip joint, in Florita’s you’ll just bump into Geordie Shore, and don’t even get me started on CCTV (no hiding the evidence now). Then you will undeniably either end up in the 24 hour McDonald’s or the 24 hour Greggs lowering yourself to the dating level of a common chav. And does anyone really act their best

Daisy Billowes

You’ve Got problems!

Lusting over the guest star of your threesome, getting some cheeky lesbian action, leaving your pubic hair everywhere for the world to see... sound familiar? Luckily Uncle Monty’s here to help! I recently had a threesome with my girlfriend and although it went well at the time, I can’t stop thinking about this other girl. It was a drunken night, and I barely know the girl, but now every time I am with my girlfriend, I just keep imagining I’m with the other girl. What do I do? Can I leave my girlfriend for a girl I hardly know? Or is it just a phase? This is, of course, a very delicate situation. What I suggest is to simply do everything you normally would with your girlfriend, but have the other girl present too. That way, you can work out whether you’d be happier with one or the other. Keep a tally of things they do which please you – sandwiches made, funny anecdotes,

gifts bought, etc – and at the end of, say, a month, the girl with the most points wins your affections. Marks should be taken off every time either complains about the process being demeaning. If it’s a draw, I’ll give you the number of a very nice Mormon colony. I have just had an argument with my boyfriend and I wanted your opinion. I drunkenly pulled one of my female friends at a club last week, and while I told him I don’t have feelings for her, he seems to class it as cheating. I am not attracted to the girl but he is still mad at me. Does kissing a girl count as cheating? I should certainly think so, yes. There are ways of sorting this kind of thing out (see previous letter), but if you’re sure you don’t fancy her then you need to work out exactly why your boy’s annoyed. Is it because of your unfaithfulness, or because he’s a massive homophobe? If it’s the latter, then the only solution I can think of is for you to cop off with as many boys as you possibly can in the next few months to convince him of your heterosexuality. If it’s the former, disregard that advice. That will probably make things much worse. Make him an omelette or something, whatever a normal person would do.

My housemate keeps leaving pubic hair on the toilet seat. It is truly disgusting and despite the fact that we tried to have a house meeting to tell ‘whoever it is’ to stop, we all know who it is. We have even left a note on the wall in the bathroom reminding ‘everyone’ of the importance of toilet aesthetics, not to mention hygiene! It is getting ridiculous now, should we confront him as a group or continue to suffer in silence? Let me tell you a story. Many years ago, when I was a callow fresher, my friend lived with a boy called Stefan. Stefan was an awful housemate in a great many ways – watching episodes of Top Gear at deafening volume at 7am, leaving raw fish on the side for a day or more and bringing hordes of friends around to stay for a week or more at a time, for example. One day, my friend Andrew was in the shower and went to pick up a black flannel to scrub himself with. Only when he touched it did he realise that it was in fact a mass of Stefan’s arm and leg hair which he had shaved off. You think you’ve got problems, but, to paraphrase Homer Simpson, when you put your hand in a pile of goo that was your housemate’s arm and leg hair, that’s Chinatown. I don’t know what he meant either.


The Courier

lifestyle.23

Monday 13 February 2012

Lifestyle Editors: Ben Parkin, Emma Balter, and Lauren Stafford Online Editor: Lauren Cordell

How to get romantic...

Review

Strada

Mon - Sat: 11.30am - 11.00pm

Old Eldon Square Blackett Street NE1 7JG 0191 261 6070

Conveniently located in the heart of Old Eldon Square, the Strada restaurant offers a wide selection of fine Italian dishes. Guests can be seated on two levels from which they will have a fantastic view of the illuminated trees in Eldon Square. Those seated on the top floor can enjoy the sight of the chef preparing the meals and the flickering flames from the oven behind him. The gentle lighting from the dimmed lamps and the soft music playing in the background give the restaurant a romantic atmosphere, making it the perfect place to take your Valentine. The waiters are courteous, providing guests with a professional service and are ready to offer recommendations if needed. Currently offering a Valentine’s Day menu, the restaurant also offers some other really tasty plates, some of which we had the pleasure of indulging in. After being seated, we were promptly assisted by a waitress who recommended the Montepulciano D’Abruzzo, an inviting slightly fruity, semi-dry red wine, which went well with our starters.

Penny Pincher

Rosie Jenkinson

To commence our three-course meal, we ordered the Gamberoni, king prawns sautéed with garlic, white wine, lemon butter and a hint of chilli, and the Antipasto Misto, which consisted of Parma ham, spicy Ventricina salami, Roman spianata, fennel, semi-dried tomatoes, buffalo mozzarella, and olives, which came with a vegetable tartare. Both starters came with a slice of ciabatta bread. For the main course we chose the Caprino, a tomato-based pizza topped with Goat’s cheese, mozzarella, roasted artichoke hearts, Italian tomatoes, and fresh oregano. We had some black olives and Parma ham added to make the pizza complete. We also had the Tegamaccio, a fish stew of clams, mussels, red mullet, squid, and prawns, drenched in a creamy white wine sauce, tomatoes, and herbs, and served with a slice of bread. We finally gave into our sweet tooth by sampling the Mousse al Cioccolato, which is exactly what it sounds like, a delicious but not too rich chocolate dessert, perfect for all you chocolate lovers! Beautifully decorated, the Vanini Italian chocolate

#1 Makeup, milk and half-priced cheese

Spontaneous outdoor sex On a bench in the park, up against a tree, on public transport, in our campus quad... whenever you can, get it in!

mousse comes in a chocolate case and is toppled with fresh strawberries and strawberry coulis. We also tried the exquisite Fichi al Vino, five figs cooked in red wine and cinnamon, served with a scoop of mascarpone vanilla ice cream. We then drank a caffé macchiato and a caffé latte, an excellent way to complete such a delectable meal. Kerstin Vogel and Linda Guma

Food to eat

Valentine’s Special

Get a reward card for high street drugstores. Boots Advantage card – spend £1 earn 4 points. Superdrug Beautycard – spend £1 earn 1 point. Those Boots meal deals will soon have you piling up the points! • Check out http://www.fragrancedirect.co.uk/. It’s an online discount cosmetic and fragrance website with hundreds of positive reviews. Buy a Rimmel Glam Eyes Mascara for 2.99 (Boots £7.19). It costs £1.99 for delivery but even if you buy one item you are still getting it cheaper than what you would pay in high street drugstores. They also have 99p offers on at times, so it’s worth checking back to see what’s on offer. • Making Faces barrow (located in Eldon Square, the entrance just off Northumberland Street). This makeup barrow has high street products at discounted prices. Buy a Rimmel Sexy Curves Mascara for £2.99 (Boots/Superdrug £8.19) and Bourjois pots of eye shadow for 2.99 each (Boots £6.49).

Broaden your horizons on Valentine’s Day and offer your partner a night of delicious fun. Food and sex are two of the most gratifying things ever. The best part is that they can be combined into one very erotic activity. Here are some foods that can increase your pleasure and get you in the mood.

• Pizza Express (near Eldon Square bus station) is doing buy one meal, get the second for only £2.50. See their website to download the voucher. Valid until 21st February. Excludes Valentine’s Day, but they have a Valentine’s sharing menu of 2 for £30 on the 14th! With their popular dough balls shaped into hearts, what’s not to love? • Haagen-Dazs Belgian Chocolate ice cream is half price in Tesco (£2.22 a tub instead of £4.45) until 20th February! Third years, treat yourself to getting halfway through your dissertation by settling down to some trashy TV and a tub of this! • Forgotten to book somewhere for Valentine’s? Don’t worry, with M&S’s Dine in for 2 for £20 you can still have a romantic night! The offer is on until Valentine’s Day and includes a Starter, Main, Side Dish, Dessert, Wine and Box of Chocolates in the price! • Cathedral City Mature 350g. £1.99 at Morrisons. (£4.38 each at Tesco, but with BOGOF at the moment too). Cheese is a staple for most meals and is pretty expensive, so any deals on it are good. If you’ve got a freezer, buy two and freeze the other one! • Running out of toothpaste? Get yourself to Wilkinson’s! They are selling Advanced Whitening, Macleans and Colgate toothpastes for only 98p! (Or buy Macleans Fresh Mint toothpaste for 65p!)

Sushi Take a page out of the Sex and the City girls’ handbook! Sushi looks beautiful, tastes even better and best of all is eaten at room temperature, so you or your partner’s body does not have to burn or freeze - neither blue skin or boils being remotely sexy. The sauces can also add a little ‘spice’ if you know what I mean! Other sea food such as oysters and shrimp also work since they have iodine and zinc in them, which as everyone knows are the ultimate elements of pleasure.

Banana Split OK, I know whipped cream is a little cliché but why not take it up a notch...? Make a full blown sundae on your partner! Yes, the ice cream may be a little cold, but you’ll find that combined with the warmth of your lover’s body, it will not disappoint.

Natural Aphrodisiacs Now that is one fantastic idea: food that increases both your sex drives! Olives are one of these aphrodisiacs, and you can mix and match as green ones work for

Cooking a meal for your loved one If there is any gift greater than the gift of love, it is definitely that of food. Cooking a meal for your loved one, even if it’s just a bog standard sausage and mash, should never be underrated.

Matching underwear Ladies, you NEVER know what can happen. Bin the white printed knickers and blue bra combo and switch it for something that actually came as a set.

off your partner’s body

Makeup can sometimes cost a small fortune, especially when it all runs out at the same time! Make sure you remember these thrifty tips when shopping for makeup...

Get them before they’re gone!

What’s Hot

Sun: 11.30am - 10.30pm

men and black ones work for women. Apples have been known as the fruit of temptation since biblical times, as well as having vitamins, minerals and enzymes which stimulate sexual desire. If apples work, then think of the power of toffee apples; the sensual sweetness will work a treat in your sexual play.

Candy Who doesn’t enjoy a little sugar now and then (or just now)? Imagine eating a liquorice straw and have a ‘Lady and the Tramp’ spaghetti situation going on at the end! That really sounds like fun, and best of all, liquorice contains plant oestrogens, those I can surely say ‘help’ a woman! Be creative: gummy bears, chocolate, jelly beans... Whatever is available will surely make eating off a person a bunch of fun!

Cheese platter This is a very posh way to spend the evening: crack open a bottle of wine, bring out the grapes and gourmet fromage, and best of all use your partner as a plate! Strawberries, raspberries or any other form of berries will also work. Beware of stinky cheeses though, as they might put a bit of a downer on the evening... If you want to make it a little cheesier (pun intended) why not pour liquid cheese over your body and have your lover whip it up with nachos? Me gusta!

PDA Yes, we know you love each other. You don’t need to prove it by eating your respective faces off in front of us. The 69 position Trying to do a good job while being substantially distracted by both pleasure and the uncomfortable feeling that someone is THAT close to your arse? I’m sorry no, overrated and definitely not ‘hot’. Love letters If you have as much writing talent as Dan Brown on a good day, it’ll sound shit. On the other hand if you are a Shakespeare in disguise... it’ll just sound cringe.

What’s Not

Ridhu Bhatia Emma Balter

Illustrations: Daisy Billowes


24.listings13th-20thFeb

Monday 13 February 2012

The Courier

thecourieronline.co.uk/listings c2.editor@ncl.ac.uk

Monday Vagina Monologues February 13-15 Theatre Royal

An unmissable show for every generation! Bring your mum, your best friend, your sister or even your gran – this is the ultimate girls’ night out... trust us! Starring Anne Charleston (Madge Ramsey, Neighbours), Mel Giedroyc (The Great British Bake Off, Mel & Sue) and Hayley Tamaddon (Emmerdale, Dancing on Ice). www.theatreroyal.co.uk

Tuesday How to be effective at psychometric tests 1.15-1.45pm Bamburgh Room

Applying for jobs or courses that use psychometric tests as part of the selection process? Do you want to know more about what they are and why they are used? This 30 minute session will provide information about and examples of aptitude tests, personality questionnaires and situational judgement tests.

A Walk-On Part 5.30-6.30pm

Curtis Auditorium,

Herschel Building

Pilates

February 13 6pm

Pilates is an exercise routine which is great for core strength, flexibility and toning your whole body in general. It is also recommended by many physiotherapists for people with back problems. This is a beginner’s session with a professional instructor; just bring yourself and a flexible attitude! FREE - Email giag.union@ncl.ac.uk to book your space.

Chris Mullin, a former Labour minister and MP for Sunderland South for 23 years, gives a light-hearted account of his life and times with reference to his widely acclaimed diaries. This will be followed by a book signing. www.ncl.ac.uk/events

North East’s Most Romantic Film 2012 8pm

Tyneside Cinema

‘It Gets Better’ campaign February 13 8.30pm Mens Bar

Feb 13 marks the LGBT ‘It Gets Better’ night, which will provide T-shirts bearing this message and start at 8.30pm in the Mens Bar, moving to Rusty’s at 10.30pm, Gossip from 11.30pm, and Powerhouse from 12.30am. We are doing this primarily in order to raise a greater awareness of the campaign, as several photos from the night will show up with ‘It Gets Better’ T-shirts in them, and other people outside of the society will want to know what the campaign is all about. Anybody who wishes to support the campaign is welcome to come along to the Mens Bar for what promises to be an incredible night! Email the Union’s LGBT Officer for more details: lgbt.union@ncl.ac.uk

The winner of the North East’s Most Romantic Film competition (voted for by the people of Newcastle!) will be shown this Valentine’s Day at Tyneside Cinema. There’ll also be complimentary chocolates for everyone who attends, courtesy of those lovely people at Traidcraft. Plus there’ll be special Valentine’s Day gift bags and cocktails available in the Tyneside Bar too. www.tynesidecinema.co.uk

Koosday Valentine Masquerade Ball 10pm - 3am Tiger Tiger

The perfect night to get into the spirit of Valentine’s Day, whether you’re single or not! Get down to Tiger Tiger for 10pm and dance the night away with the one you love - or the one you love right now.

Gap Year Fair 12-3pm

Lindisfarne Room, King’s Road Centre

Fancy taking a year out to travel and work abroad, or spending your summer doing something different? Come along to the Gap Year Fair where you can meet over 20 companies offering you the chance to have the experience of a lifetime! They will be promoting summer camps, working abroad and voluntourism. www.ncl.ac.uk/careers

Kaiser Chiefs

7pm O2 Academy Newcastle

Following their re-emergence in 2011 with new album ‘The Future Is Medieval’, Kaiser Chiefs are pleased to announce their �irst UK tour in almost two years. The gig is sold out online but I’m sure desperate fans can still get tickets on eBay, or you could just hang about outside catching murmurs of Ricky Wilson’s dulcet tones.

Wednesday

Thursday

Krav Maga

An Ear for Details

2pm

This session is an introduction to the art and discipline of Krav Maga, a self-defence system that is rapidly gaining popularity. Krav Maga is an eclectic hand-to-hand system which is tactical and highly practical. FREE - Email giag.union@ncl.ac.uk to book your space.

Pulled Apart By Horses 7pm Digital

The Leeds band grace Newcastle with their prescence this Wednesday with a set at nightclub Digital. As our music section said last week, it’s unlikely you’ll leave a PABH gig without sweat and/or beer on yourself get ready for a great night!

Newcastle Food Co-op 1-4pm Great North Museum

Learn about food co-ops and ethical eating, meet new people and enjoy some cakes and tea! Email ncl.foodcoop@hotmail.co.uk for more information.

The Positive Effects of Bilingualism and Multilingualism on Speech Perception 5.30-6.30pm Curtis Auditorium, Herschel Building

The aim of this study is to demonstrate that language learning experience contributes to the maintenance of a greater level of neurophysiological plasticity, which in turn facilitates the learning of new sounds. www.ncl.ac.uk/events

Shop and Rock 4.30pm

Reds Bar, Northumbria University

Shop and Rock is a day-to-evening charity festival that celebrates independent fashion and up-and-coming music. During the day expect a catwalk, raffle, local vintage clothing stalls, individual retailers and eco-fashion pioneers. The evening then showcases the best of local bands. The bar will also be open day and night with its usual affordable prices and there’s even a Starbucks. All proceeds will be donated to the British Red Cross (redcross.org.uk). This event is not only for students, anyone can come along.


The Courier

13th-20thFeblistings.25

Monday 13 February 2012

C2 Editor: Aimee Philipson

Friday Inertia

The Friday Show

One of WHQ’s longest running independently promoted club nights, Inertia is six years old on Friday Feb 17. They are throwing a massive party downstairs in the club & you are all invited. This will be a great night out and it’s run by ex-Newcastle Uni students so support your own and get down there this Friday! www.welovewhq.com

Start the weekend early with this two-hour live comedy show. It features the best comperes, established headliners and several upand-coming acts from the local and national circuits. There’s also a slot for a newcomer on every bill. The line-up is also usually the same as our premium Saturday night show but at almost half the price. With Steve Gribbin, Shazia Mirza, Julian Deane and Ben Crompton. Hosted by Raymond Mearns. www.thestand.co.uk

7.30pm World Headquarters

How to write a CV 1.15-1.45pm Bamburgh Room, King’s Road Centre

It’s estimated that employers discard 3 out of 5 CVs within 2 minutes. Come to this 30 minute workshop to find out how to ensure your CV reflects what you have to offer, and most importantly gets you noticed! www.ncl.ac.uk/careers

7.30pm

The Laughter Surgery 9pm

Far from the regular comedy club experience, the Laughter Surgery at the Tyneside Cinema features intimate surroundings, friendly staff and a relaxed comedy vibe welcoming to stand-up fans old and new. In February we feature Mr. Drayton alongside Lee Kyle, and in March Carl Hutchinson and Mark Cooper join us! www.tynesidecinema.co.uk

Something for the weekend International Development Conference

The World at 7 Billion: Rethinking development February 18 & 19 9am-6pm Herschel Building, Newcastle University

As the world’s population hits 7 billion, human development is being hailed as both the cause and the solution to our population crisis. Should we be celebrating the successes of development or should we be concerned about rising inequalities across the world? For more information about the conference, please visit www.idcnewcastle.com.

175th Birthday Gala

Looking forward to... Have a go at an assessment centre

February 21 3-6pm King’s Gate, Rooms 1.25 & 1.26

In this 3-hour interactive workshop you will participate in two typical group exercises to gain a better understanding of what an Assessment Centre involves. This will improve your confidence and your understanding of what recruiters look for. As the number of places for this workshop is limited, please reserve a place by paying a £5.00 returnable deposit at Careers Service reception (Level 1, King’s Gate) by 5pm on Friday, February 17. www.ncl.ac.uk/careers

Sunday 7.30pm Theatre Royal

A spectacular and magnificent evening of magical entertainment. Join the stars of stage and screen to celebrate our 175th birthday. There’ll be cake too! Hosted by Tim Healy and Denise Welch and joined by the Theatre Royal orchestra and dancers. You can look forward to; * Theatre Royal panto stars Clive Webb, Danny Adams & Chris Hayward * A special appearance by one of the young stars of Billy Elliott * Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures - an except from one of their productions * Allan Stewart with songs from Jolson Daniel Koek (The Challenger:USSR – Chess) & cast members from Chess * Christopher Biggins * The Krankies * Graeme Danby Profits go to The Evening Chronicle’s Sunshine Fund & Metro Radio’s Cash for Kids. www.theatreroyal.co.uk

Charles Dickens: A Life February 21 5.30-6.30pm Curtis Auditorium, Herschel Building

Charles Dickens was a phenomenon: a demonically hardworking journalist, father of 10, a tireless walker and traveller, and a supporter of social causes. Most of all he was a great novelist. When he died, the world mourned and (against his wishes) he was buried at Westminster Abbey. Dickens had risen from unpromising beginnings to scale social and literary heights, as leading biographer Claire Tomalin explains. Free admission, no pre-booking required. www.ncl.ac.uk/events

Noel Gallagher February 23 9pm Metro Radio Arena

Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds follow up their sold-out November tour with a seven-date UK and Ireland arena tour. The band will be featuring songs from their number 1 album, as well as a selection of Noel Gallagher classics. www.metroradioarena.co.uk

James Morrison Sunday 7pm

After hitting Number 1 in the album chart with ‘The Awakening’, James Morrison gets ready for the release of his new collaboration with Jessie J, as well as a UK tour next year. www.metroradioarena.co.uk

Want your event listed?

Email c2.editor@ncl.ac.uk with all the details and any photos you have by Monday 12pm of the week before the issue you want to feature in.


26.fashion

thecourieronline.co.uk/fashion c2.fashion@ncl.ac.uk

Monday 13 February 2012

what’sinyourbag? your yourbag? Josie Anderson

Where are they from? Fenwicks

What did you buy? White lace top

#2 Men are from Mars, women are from Topshop

As Cupid begins to flex his bow ready to work his yearly shift on February 14, many of you may be flicking through your wardrobe to see what you are going to receive his arrows with. Some will be guaranteed a smart, romantic meal out with their better half, others will be too hungover from the Monday night before, but the vast majority will be donning their finest threads for a Valentine’s venture. Those from Mars will consider dusting off their smart shirt that normally only gets a run out for a meeting with their personal tutor. The one item of clothing that gets the luxury treatment of being shown a coat hanger every so often will be doused with a fresh batch of man spray. To accompany this uncharacteristically dapper dress sense will be their cleanest pair of jeans and the most respectable pair of shoes on offer from housemates. I have always been told by my mother that “you should always attempt to look your best as you never know when you will potentially meet your future wife”, but not every woman is looking for a shirt-clad prince. Women aren’t looking for Mr. Urban Outfitters 2012 to waltz into their arms, but instead a man with a bit of sartorial flair. For those that take no interest in whether their t-shirt clashes with their sneaks, do not fear - men are more likely to fall in love based on a woman’s appearance, whilst women are more likely to be drawn towards a man’s behaviour. We can certainly expect that those from Venus will have put a lot more thought and preparation into this potentially vital evening. With meticulous attention to make-up and outfit coordination, women generally do ‘looking good’ a lot better than men. A pair of heels can so easily transform ‘that girl from your seminar’ into something a bit more memorable; combined with a classic silhouette and your trademark coat, that lucky man will realise that you could potentially be a keeper. The art of playing to your own strengths, in this instance accentuating your best features, will pay in dividends. No man wants everything to be out on show, but often a small teaser could serve as your metaphorical fishing hook in an evening of serious sharking. On February 14, I will be looking out for those poor boyfriends that have been told that their one and only beautiful woman is not keen on what they’re wearing. In typical parental fashion, they have been sent back up those stairs to change the ‘welcome to the gun show’ t-shirt to something a bit more demure. The poor chap spent at least ten minutes sifting through his washing to see which top was emanating the freshest scent; add that to the time he waited for his girlfriend to get ready, and it’s already nearly Wednesday. Whilst the January sales provided a boost to many girls’ wardrobes, some still have not picked up their bargains for the year. With a lot of the best sale items already off the market, sometimes it takes a little bit more time to find the one that’s just for you. Remember though, what happens on Valentine’s Day cannot be exchanged or refunded with a receipt. Valentine’s Day, like New Year’s Eve, can unfortunately be a bit of a commercial anti-climax. Even if there is no intention for a romance-filled evening, February 14 can still be an occasion to dress to impress.

Where is it from? Dorothy Perkins

How much did they cost? £20, reduced from £40

How much did it cost? £29.50

Why did you choose this? “I got the gloves for walking to uni in the cold but also to cheer me up after my first exam that was a complete disaster!”

Why did you choose this? “I bought this top because I needed something new to wear out and thought it could go with a lot of different outfits, e.g. jeans for a casual look or a skirt for a night out.”

Fashionistas’ Verdict? “In the words of Coco Chanel herself, ‘black wipes out everything else’. Leather was bigger than ever last season with the fetish trend, but a pair of classic black leather gloves like Nathan’s are a style staple for any wardrobe and will never ‘fall’ out of fashion.

Fashionistas’ Verdict? “Pretty pastels are perfect for this season, especially with Valentine’s Day just around the corner. The dreamy vanilla shade and Josie’s beautiful dark hair combine wonderfully for an unfussy monochromatic look.”

On trend Tie-dye takeover

Asos, £40

Hannah Walsh What did you buy? Black leather Paul Smith gloves

Second Year Mathematics

Miles Freeman

The Courier

Nathan Barry

Second Year Mathematics

Amanda Old chooses the most chic pieces from our favourite shops that revamp this classic trend

Urban Outfitters, £15

Topshop, £28

Topshop, £28


The Courier

stylingfashion.27

Monday 13 February 2012

Fashion Editor: Victoria Mole Online Fashion Editor: Rosanna Sopp

Amorously Glamorous

Sian Thomas demonstrates how to tailor your style to suit your date plan

Dress to make an impression

Girly

Romantic

Dress: Modcloth.com, £14.99

Hat: Primark, £2.99

Belt: Topshop, £14

Jumper: Motel, £18

Tights: New Look, £2.99

Skirt: Primark, £9.99

Shoes: George at ASDA, £12.99

Tights: New Look, £3.99 Boots: George at ASDA, £16

This outfit is perfect for an evening at the cinema. He’s the kind of guy that likes girls to look like, well, girls! And he’s taking you for an evening at the cinema followed by a not-too-fancy meal. This outfit is cute and playful, flirty with the florals and flippy skirt, but not too over the top. Smaller, or kitten, heels keep the look a bit more casual, while the colourful tights add a bit of fun to an otherwise plain outfit. The key point here is to look as if you’re having fun with your clothes, but you haven’t gone to crazy lengths to achieve it. Match the colours in the outfit with a light blusher and a pink lipstick to show you’re in the mood for romance.

This is for the romantic at heart! He’s decided the date, and he’s taking you out for a romantic walk by the Quayside and an evening of stargazing, so you’re going to want to be wrapped up warm (unless he’s bringing a blanket for you to snuggle under!). Here you’ll want to pair your woollies with your woollies- jumpers, tights, skirts, whatever you can find! Try to layer it carefully to avoid looking bulky, so tighter layers underneath are important. Minimal make up will do you for this kind of date; but once your nose turns red with cold, he’s going to think you look cute whatever you’re wearing.

Flirty Dress: Topshop, £32 Belt: Forever 21, £8

Casual Cardigan: New Look, £9.99

Tights: Primark, £2.99

Peter Pan collar top: H! by Holland at Debenhams, £18

Shoes: Vivienne Westwood, £65

Leigh jeans: Topshop, £38 Brogues: New Look, £24.99

This is the one you want to go all out on, this is the outfit you wear when dating a guy who’s looking for someone to spoil. He’s taking you for a fancy night out to an expensive cocktail bar, and he’s buying! An LBD is the ultimate upmarket date failsafe option; it’s flattering on anyone and shows off your figure. Cinch in with a red waist belt that matches your heels to elongate your legs, you’ll look fancy but stylish at the same time. Play the look down a little (so you don’t go over the top and scare him off ) with some cute heart print tights, perfect for Valentine’s Day! A playful touch that brings out your sense of fun will show that you’re not just in it for the money! Go for bolder makeup, cat-eye flicks and red lipstick for that vintage pin-up look, to match your fancier outfit.

So it’s your first date and he’s taking you bowling; he’s a laid-back guy and doesn’t go for anything too fancy, but you still want to impress and hopefully get that second date! Jeans are a necessity for this look (and bowling in general!): you’ll want some good quality, well-fitting ones that show off your best assets but aren’t over the top. Pair the jeans with a cute top (in red for Valentine’s Day!) and brogues for that put-together look but it doesn’t seem as if you’re trying too hard to impress him. Natural make up is key for this low maintenance look, so maybe just a slick of lipgloss and mascara to highlight your best features, and you’re ready to go!


28.health&beauty

Monday 13 February 2012

The Courier

health&beauty editor: Rosanna Sopp rosanna.sopp@ncl.ac.uk

Cleansers for all your needs

Oily skin Clinique wash away gel cleanser for oily skin, £16.00

Removing makeup Simple kind to skin moisturizing facial wash, £3.59

Student slimming

Realistic diet tips for dieters everywhere

1

Drink water, and lots of it. Everyone always says it, and there’s a reason for that. Not only does it improve your skin, it actually stops hunger pangs. For those who can’t stomach the idea of drinking pints and pints of water, dilute it with a bit of sugar free squash. Also, when you think you’re hungry, drink first. Dehydration is sometimes confused for hunger.

4

If you’re doing a hard core dietdon’t diet on weekends. Starving yourself of all the foods you enjoy will make dieting a horrible experience, and this way you recharge and re energise yourself for the week to come.

Multi tasker

Neutrogena visibly clear 2-in-1 cleanser and mask, £3.99

Sensitive Skin Eau Thermale Avene Extremely Gentle Cleanser, £8.00

All round Cleanse and Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser, £12.25

Make up

your face on a budget

The month known unaffectionately as ‘Flabuary’ has come upon us, and it is named this because, statistically, it is the month most new years resolutions are broken. Creme eggs appear on Tesco’s shelves, Twirl’s are 2 for £1, and the resolution to diet crumbles. Therefore, here are some realistic and student savvy dieting tips, for those who are still determined to beat the scales; you’ll find no links to gym memberships or overly elaborate recipes here!

2

Instead of paying hundreds of pounds for a gym membership which you never use (not surprising when everyone in the gym seems to be toned to perfection) just make sure to always take the stairs, rather than the lift. Cary Grant advocated this, and he turned out pretty good!

3

Eat breakfast. Something many students forget to do as they rush out of their flat, hungover and late for a lecture. But, eating a hearty breakfast will give you more energy and stop you snacking throughout the day. Also, a good breakfast will kick start your metabolism and stops your body thinking you’re fasting (hence why it’s called breakfast...geddit?)

Cherry Chapstick £1.05

6

5 Steer clear of sugary alcohol like Archers or VKs- they’re just empty calories, and aren’t that cheap anyway! For less sugary spirits, order vodka, or maybe a beer.

Don’t eat past 8pm- it’s the time where most boredom snacking happens, and resisting does wonders for you’re digestion.

Day

Night

Lush lip balm £5.25

Revlon Colorstay foundation, £12.49

Maybelline Dream Matte Mousse, £7.69

For day time, keep things simple with a low coverage foundation, nude eyeshadow and voluminous mascara. It’ll make your eyes look wider and emphasise their colour. This blusher is a dupe of the extremely popular Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick, and will give you a natural and healthy glow.

Collection 2000 Lasting Perfection Concealor, £4.19 17 Peep Show Mascara, £6.29

Rimmel Glam Eyes Mono eyeshadow in Tribute, £4.49 For the evening, you might want a fuller coverage foundation, and concealer. This Revlon foundation caters to both dry and oily skin. Winged eyeliner, a modern purple smokey eye create a more dramatic look. A nude lipstick completes your night time face.

Skinted

Minted

Best Beauty Blogs

Natural Collection Blushed Cheeks, £1.99 Bourjois Smoky Eyes eyeshadow in Violet Romantic, £7.99

Collection 2000 Shimmer Shades Blushalicious Blusher £4.19

Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream Lip Protectant £19.00

L’Oreal Paris Super liner, £6.49

www.ymbeautyblog.com www.beautyandtheblog23. blogspot.com www.viviannadoesmakeup. com

Bargain of the week

17 Lasting Fix Lipstick, £4.29

£21

£37

For £10 a month, get 5 premium sample or full sized beauty products: check out www.thecourieronline.co.uk/ fashion for a review


30.arts

Monday 13 February 2012

The Courier

thecourieronline.co.uk/arts c2.arts@ncl.ac.uk

Alice Fairholme tells us how love, loss and literature can actually be a winning combination

I

’m a sucker for a good love story. Unfortunately, I find them rather hard to come by. As a person who hates clichés and over-sentimentality, I find most supposedly romantic books quite unmoving, and sometimes a little nauseating. Therefore, imagine my joy when I came across The Time Traveller’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger, which was recommended to me… by a boy. Yes, a male of the species has read and enjoyed what is essentially a story about a relationship. Without any guns, bombs or Lamborghinis. Crazy. The story is pretty convoluted. As you might gauge from the title of the book, one of the main protagonists has the ability to flit between time periods; his name is Henry, and his wife, the book’s namesake, is Clare. Clare meets Henry when she is 6 years old and he is a middle-aged man, which could prompt some uncomfortable subplots if it hadn’t been for one thing: Henry is a time-traveller, doomed by genetic mutation to spontaneously disappear from the linear scheme of his life and reappear in another place, at another time. He visits Clare’s childhood from his regular life, in which he is married to the latter-day Clare. Confusing? Yeah. It is a bit. Just writing down the basic idea of the story has made my brain go a little funny. But Niffenegger writes with a style that is so engaging that the multiple and complex narratives melt into a flowing, comprehensive, and touching story. The chronologies blend into each other, making the reader feel like he or she is accompanying Henry and Clare through their journey. Like the giant of the genre and my personal favourite, Romeo and Juliet, this book could well be interpreted as a tale of two star-crossed lovers - star-crossed in that one of the lovers can journey around the time-space continuum. But whilst this is obviously the unique selling point of the book, the story encapsulates some very traditional and deeply relatable subjects: loneliness, jealousy, companionship. The tale essentially documents the two characters growing up, battling the curse that haunts their relationship. If you’ve watched the film and weren’t impressed then please give the book a go. They are worlds apart. The book has some darker, grittier moments that aren’t present in the silver screen adaptation, and the time-travelling aspect is far less gimmicky. If you’re looking to impress with a Valentine’s Day pressie, or just enjoy a good amorous love story, then I have yet to read a book that represents love with more heart than The Time Traveller’s Wife.

Billy isn’t the only boy in ballet

Lisa Bernhardt talks to local ballet star John Kendall

D

was then approached by Liv Lorent, artistic director and founder of the group, with the idea to apply for the grant “as it would allow me to dance fully-funded with the company for the rest of the year and gain some extremely valuable experience of what it‘s like to dance in a full time professional dance company,” he says. After preparing an extensive application and being interviewed, which he calls “pretty nerveracking, but okay in the end”, John eventually won the fellowship. He will be involved in the upcoming productions of balletLorent and, more importantly, work closely with the other

ance like nobody’s watching advice often given to dancers in order to let them fully express themselves without restraint. But if nobody’s actually watching them dance, many a hopeful talent will never make it to the stage. A lack of financial support is often the major obstacle to a young dancer’s career. In 2003, the BBC Performing Arts Fund was founded to tackle this very problem. The fund awards grants to individuals and community, £3.3m so far, with a focus on either music, dance or theatre each year. Last year, the contemporary dance company BalletLorent, based at DanceCity in Newcastle, received an award from the BBC Fund to host a Dance Fellow, an individual dancer who joins the company to develop their talent. John Kendall from Jesmond was the lucky one to be awarded the fellowship. John started breakdancing at 12 years old and, after graduating from two acclaimed contemporary dance schools in the UK, successfully auditioned for the balletLorent production la nuit intime. Whilst working with the company, he

Photograph by Andy Ross

The book that... restored my faith in love-lit

dancers “who have so much experience and a vast amount of knowledge that can be passed down to me”. John also hopes to continue working with balletLorent once the year-long fellowship has ended, but only performing is not enough for him: he says he has “a strong interest in developing my own choreographic work”. In ten years’ time or so, John plans to consider “side projects and work with other choreographic artists who could enhance my dance”. As a dancer himself, John is very aware of the difficulties aspiring talents face. Apart from the lack of funding, he claims that competition can be extremely fierce, especially in the country’s cultural capital, London. There might be less opportunities for dancers in the North East, but at the same time there’s also less competition according to John, who finds his home region very supportive of dancers. For now, his own career is developing rather smoothly, which he is very happy about. John states that working with balletLorent “is not like any other dance experience I’ve previously had”, praising the company’s diversity in terms of age and experience. He feels that “Liv takes her dance to a deeper level that involves all your emotions and makes dance no longer just dance, it‘s far more real than that”. With all of this great support and an encouraging environment, John Kendall is certainly someone to watch out for.

Lights, camera, art! E

Charlie Burt explores how you don’t necessarily need a brush to paint a picture very student needs a good dose of culture now and then, and ‘HERE’, a new exhibition by artist Elizabeth Price at the BALTIC is just the way to do it. A British video-maker, Price’s work has previously appeared at venues such as Tate Britain and the New Museum Theatre in New York, and her BALTIC piece ‘HERE’ is Price’s first major solo exhibition. It is comprised of three major works; ‘User Group Disco’ (2009), ‘Choir’ (2011), and the new ‘West Hinder’ (2012). As a video-maker, Price unsurprisingly uses a variety of footage to great effect in the installations, and her pieces draw on various sources, creating fantasy tales by manipulating existing philosophical texts and historical media archives. Her films are immersive, giving you the option to do more than just stand and stare, and each one of the three works uses footage in a unique and original way. This aspect of Price’s work, her emphasis on combining both the traditional and modern day through film footage, is of particular note in ‘Choir’ (2011), which is being shown for the first time in its full entirety. The piece is very conceptual, Price exploring the word ‘choir’ both in terms of its singing connotations and also its church references, and the rolling sequence of film and photographs is accompanied by a discordant soundtrack of percussive noise and

Elizabeth Price, User Group Disco, 15 min, 2009, courtesy the artist and MOTInternational

popular music, challenging the original perceptions of the sound of a choir. Similarly, in her work ‘West Hinder’, which makes up a major part of the exhibition, Price expresses herself through using a combination of artistic disciplines. The installation challenges human conceptions of consumerism, and features the video of a destroyed cargo ship, full of luxury cars, yet stranded at the bottom of the ocean. This part of the exhibition has particular relevance now with the recent sinking of the Concordia, and Price is accompanied by the BAFTA-

nominated composer Brian Rietzell, who follows the journey down onto the ship with his soundtrack of electronic noise, emphasising humanity’s dependence on the technology that surrounds us. Overall, ‘HERE’ at the BALTIC promises to be a very unique exhibition, and as Price is only gaining in popularity it is definitely worth checking out. ‘HERE’ is at the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, by the Quayside, from the February 3- May 27

Elizabeth Price, Choir (Part 3), production still, 2011, courtesy the artist and MOTInternational


The Courier

arts.31

Monday 13 February 2012

Arts Editor: Sally Priddle Online Arts Editor: Lisa Bernhardt

T

Happy previews Birthday Theatre Royal!

his year sees the celebration of 175 years of the Theatre Royal. Built in 1837 and designed by the famous Northern architects Grainger and Dobson, the Theatre Royal is more than just another playhouse. It puts on more than 380 shows a year and really is a beacon of Newcastle’s history. Despite being considered ‘old hat’ by some, it remains a cultural hub that holds traditional and modern theatre in the same hand. The stage has been graced by some of the biggest names in acting history , such as Olivier and Dench, and even the Hollywood stars Orson Welles, Charlton Heston and Jack Lemmon have trodden the famous boards. Described by Sir Ian McKellen as his favourite theatre, this neo-classical monument with a phenomenal history hosts over 380 performances each year. During summer 2011 it underwent a major restoration to return it to its Victorian glory in anticipation of its 175th birthday this year. The birthday gala will be a perfect opportunity to experience the theatre in its true brilliance, especially for those who have yet to pay it a visit whilst living in Newcastle. Hosted by Tim Healy and Denise Welch, the event will be your chance to immerse yourself in theatre and the entirety of the arts with a guest list including ballet dancers, opera singers, comedians and performers from both the West End and Broadway. Danny Adams and Clive Webb, the Theatre Royal’s long standing Panto stars (and two of the funniest people I have ever seen on stage), will be taking the audience by storm. As part of the entertainment programme, there will also be scenes from the captivating and sensational musical hit Billy Elliot brought to stage by the stars of the West End cast. For those who fancy taking a night off from the normal night out in Newcastle, this is time to experience the centre of the North East’s theatre world by tasting the variety of delights that the Theatre Royal has on offer for its audiences. Get ready to enjoy a night of artistic perfection - all in the name of charity. Could there be anything better? Sally Priddle

Chris Ramsey

RAG Comedy Show

Taming of the Shrew

Chris Ramsey surfaced in 2009 after making it to the finals of the Chortle Student Comedy Awards. Originally from South Shields, Chris is bringing his new tour back home for two nights at the Northern Stage, one of which is already sold out and for good reason. The title of the tour – ‘Offermation’ – is a term used to describe useless or unwanted information, which Ramsey punctuates with family-newsletters and a US-style mailbox. Chris’ energetic and playful charm means that, after a minute on stage, the audience wants to laugh with him. Although, Chris’ observational style has the potential to be quite mundane, his charisma means this is not the case. He is kicking the stereotypical cynical and negative comedian to the curb with a smile on his face. ‘Offermation’ is guaranteed to be both informative and hilarious – and hopefully include such inspired observations as his views on the ‘Twilight’ films: ‘They took the vampire mythology, they shat on it, they rolled it in glitter and they kicked it through the set of ‘The Hills’’. William Sebag-Montefiore

RAG has not just taken to the streets but is now taking on the world of comedy, by invading the Stand Comedy Club with what promises to be a night of comedy gold. It will begin with Scottish legend John Scott, who doesn’t take life too seriously and is described as a diamond in the rough. Limits are not something this man are used to and he is pretty damn proud of it, using swearwords as punctuation. He will be followed by loud and large Steffen Peddie, a Geordie who knows life is not to be taken seriously - a rather useful quality in such an entertaining comedian. All will be compered by Newcastle comedian Tony Jameson, who has supported Kevin Bridges and Frankie Boyle on tour. He is a real open-minded, engaging and witty comedian who wins the hearts of the audience, so they will be eating out of the palm of his hand by the end of the show. Welcome, warm, and oh wait… charitable, this show is one that should not be missed. Tickets are £6 and available from The Courier office or The Stand Box Office Sally Priddle

Ok, so it is no Ten Things I Hate About You, but it is also not high, stuffy theatre that requires a degree in Latin and an extremely high attention span to power through. Although English students will appreciate the beauty of the words, those who see Shakespeare as too pretentious will still appreciate and enjoy this adaptation of Taming of the Shrew. The Taming of the Shrew sees Petruchio, wanting a wife with a large dowry, attempt to mould the angry and ‘shrewish’ Kate into a woman suitable for marriage. This play is the perfect mixture of comedy, irony and tragic love; whilst managing to bring the perfect amount of sexual tension, it rivals Eastenders for mixed-up plotlines. It is directed by Lucy Bailey, who has seen previous success with the RSC 2009 tour of Julius Caesar, and has already received rave reviews for her version of Taming of the Shrew. This modern adaptation gives people the chance to experience Shakespeare in a way that retains its essence whilst still giving it a modern kick for those who are not massive Shakespeare fans. Tickets are available from £9. Mallory McDonald

Blood Brothers

The Suggestibles

Gavin Webster’s Northumbrian Assembly

Northern Stage February 21-22

reviews

The Stand Comedy Club February 20

Sunderland Empire February 7-11

The Stand Comedy Club February 7

There isn’t much I would spend 30 minutes on the Metro going to Sunderland for, but for the prospect of seeing the musical Blood Brothers at Sunderland Empire I might have done it in bare feet carrying an ice cube whilst singing ‘Newcastle United rule’ through the city centre. I’ve seen many musicals but Blood Brothers really has something that truly resonates with it’s audience. The story of twin brothers separated at birth, brought up in different social classes and reunited with tragic consequences is not only timeless, but it’s thought-provoking, mesmerizing and emotional. And it’s not just one for the girls either. I’ve known more than one grown man cry during the end scene – sobbing to the piercing notes of Mrs Johnstone’s ‘Tell Me It’s Not True’. However, it’s not all tears and anguish; there are some classic stage comedy moments. I would recommend anyone to go and see it - there’s a reason it’s been going since 1988. Aimee Philipson

Two words that easily guarantee I’ll break into a cold sweat: audience participation. A group of four actors and a musician embrace the stage with absolutely no prepared content but instead take suggestions from the crowd, somehow transforming them into comedy and even a musical finale. The Suggestibles never dropped the ball and whether serious political wit or ridiculous slapstick, the comedy was beyond side-splitting. Ian McLaughlin took to stage alongside his fellow comics, and had the audience in genuine hysterics until the very end. Sheer comic genius, whilst cliché, is the only way to describe the group and it is impossible to convey just how brilliant and hilarious the show was. No words can ever give the troupe the full credit they deserve; it is undoubtedly one of the greatest acts in the region, and the fact the group are purely unscripted improvisation makes the performance so much more impressive. Grace Harvey

Theatre Royal February 23 - March 3

The Stand Comedy Club February 5

The audience is welcomed by Mr Webster, who acts as compere and manages to take the mick out of all on the front row, so for the first-timers I would recommend sitting slightly further back. His banter with the crowd consists mainly of references to the North East with mentions of Byker Grove, the rough west end of the city and the amazing institution that is Greggs the bakers! He also gets out his guitar and treats the crowd to some short and sexual tunes. It is a real mix of comedic talent that follows with four different stand-ups, some from the local area, as well as a Brummie and a ginger Scot. The highlight of the evening, however, has to be a Geordie chav, who is clad in a Newcastle football shirt, trackies and trainers, holding a bottle of cider, who manages to leave the audience in stitches. With a quick comedy quiz and a suspect-looking meat draw, this really is the best way to end your week. Catherine Langley


32.musicreviews

The Courier

Monday 13 February 2012

Music Editors: Ben Travis and Chris Scott Online Music Editor: Graham Matthews

Sound of the Overground Sam Summers once again delves into this week’s chart, occasionally finding some of pop’s best kept secrets, but more often than not, finding absolute drivel. Gorgeous scamp David Guetta, after 11 weeks of titting about, finally makes it to number one with the really-rather-good ‘Titanium’. Probably Guetta’s finest single to date, the track finds the wonderful Sia boasting of her superhuman resistance to bullets over a thumping bleepsand-bloops backdrop. Ostensibly a dance track, I can’t imagine club-goers dancing to ‘Titanium’ so much as fist-pumping violently and scowling. But, you know, in a good way. So the highest charting new entry this week is ‘Alone Again’ by Canadian Whinge Horn Alyssa Reid. The softcore powerballad atmosphere, under whelming rap verse, and general sense of apathy from everybody involved makes ‘Alone Again’ come off as sort of a BoB’s ‘Airplanes’ for 2012. Remember how dreadful and ubiquitous ‘Airplanes’ was? Well multiply that by the bargain-bin stylings of Reid and the (incredibly named) Jump Smokers and you’ve got this big steaming pile of get-out-of-my-ears tripe. You can tell how awful and inescapable a song’s gonna be when the highest rated youtube comment is ‘don’t really care what you all say she is really talented and she has an amazing voice if you can’t stand her just don’t listen to her. kbye’.

Tragic Songstrell Lana Del Rey has been taking a lot of flack recently for her post-‘Video Games’ work, but one listen to lead single ‘Born To Die’ should really be enough to quell any reservations you might have. Here, she shows off both (both!) of her Unique Singing Personas, shifting between Sultry Chanteuse Lana and Whispy Muppet Child Lana, backed by sumptuous strings and an adorable little man shouting ‘louder’. All this and it’s only the seventh best song on the album! Now I know plenty of you are gonna hate on her anyway, but I don’t really care what you all say. She is really talented and she has an amazing voice. If you can’t stand her just don’t listen to her. Kbye. Pan-chart chorus-monkey Sia returns with a fruitless attempt to resuscitate ‘Wild Ones’, the latest disappointment from ‘Good Feeling’ hitmaker Flo Rida. Rather than giving over to a couple of magic samples and a gorgeous little acoustic guitar, here the Rida foregrounds his own terrible rhymes. He rhymes ‘lose it’ with ‘doos it’, and then he rhymes ‘doos it’ with ‘doos it’. He rhymes ‘too much vodka’ with ‘ten binoculars’, a bizarre re-pronunciation which sounds more like ‘ten foot knockers’. He rhymes ‘dive’ with ‘crowd’. Conclusion: Flo Rida is terrible again. The rightful order has been restored.

‘Turn This Club Around’ by R.I.O. is an awful, probably sexist dance track that you will try to avoid and ultimately fail to avoid. Life goes on. Recommended download: David Guetta - Titanium

Born to Die Lana Del Rey

B

orn to Die is not a bad album. Had it been released pre Video Games it would probably be highly regarded. The mixture of old Hollywood vocals contrasted with hiphop beats is a catchy and more relatable version of dubstepped film theme-tunes for the less intense/ normal among us. Unfortunately the album is let down by Lana Del Rey’s poor lyrics and banal content. At one point she sings about being in the cool clique at high school... really? Are we actually going there? Rey tries to convince us she’s of another era, singing about James Dean (Lana, if Daniel Bedingfield does it then maybe it’s not the route to critical acclaim?), being at the races (which I assume is with John Dillinger, rather than the cast of TOWIE at Ascot) and wearing a red dress (repetitively). Rey ceases to develop further subtlety in retelling her relationship with a “bad boy” who she describes in true cliché style as “no good for me”. This lack of delicacy in Rey’s lyrics is the difference between telling someone you are clever or them noticing that you have a Nobel Science prize hidden under a well thumbed complete works of Kant. Rey is

Plumb

one short of jumping on a table screaming “hey, I’m cool and interesting!” Despite this, ‘Million Dollar Man’ should be a Bond theme, her voice on ‘Lucky Ones’ is Kate Bush-esque and fuelled with the emotion missing on the other tracks. ‘Carmen’ could have easily been on Bat For Lashes’ Fur and Gold, to the point that Khan should probably take out a lawsuit. The absolute low point is found in ‘Loita’ where Rey spells out “D.A.R.K” and “P.A.R.K”. Well done Lana, I understand that those words can be phonetically misleading.

...her voice on ‘Lucky Ones’ is Kate Bush-esque and fuelled with the emotion missing on the other tracks Born to Die is an alright album but Rey just doesn’t have much to sing about. Someone get the girl a rhyming dictionary already: at one point she irrelevantly refers to herself as the “Queen of Saigon”... your guess is as good as mine.

Recommended download: ‘Lucky Ones’

Old Ideas

Django Django

Leonard Cohen

Field Music

A

new album from the North East brothers is always a welcome sight. 2010’s Measure was an example of what Field Music could do. A two disc, 20 track, 70 minute plus long album that didn’t seem to drag. That one album was like filling a bag of pick and mix while blind folded. There’s a chocolate lime, a sherbet saucer and a jelly worm; things that shouldn’t necessarily work well together but for some reason just do. Plumb is very similar to this, taking the Wearside weirdness we know and love from the brothers, and just making it a little shorter and easier to digest than Measure. The problem is, the songs that don’t seem weird and interesting are relatively bland in comparison. ‘A Prelude to Pilgrim Street’ is fairly straightforward, with no bubbling noises or cyclical guitars, which just makes it feel a little under whelming compared to the future indie dance floor track ‘A New Town’ or the wonderful ‘Sorry Again Mate’. But where Plumb succeeds, it succeeds effortlessly. Most tracks in Plumb flow into each other so easily that, if you didn’t check the track list, the album could easily be just one song. Every song has some sudden rhythmic change or interesting layering that keeps your ears pricked up. This is an album you need to pay attention to in order to fully appreciate. Recommended download: ‘A New Town’

Chris Taylor

For tonnes of web-exclusive columns and live reviews, check out The Courier music section online.

Mallory McDonald

Django Django

W

hen I was fourteen and bought my first Smiths CD, my Dad rolled his eyes and told me I was acting like a ‘depressed student’ who’d be ‘on the Leonard Cohen next’. Well Dad, you’ll be pleased to know that as a real-life Leonard Cohen listening student, I’ve remained relatively cheerful. Leonard Cohen himself, on the other hand, is as gloomy as ever. At 77, his voice - never exactly honey coated from the start - is almost completely gone, a gravelly whisper that is not even expected to carry the tune, only the words. Often full responsibility of the melody is delegated to the murmuring backing singers. Most of the music is as muted as the vocals: softly played piano, lightly plucked guitar or banjo, brushed drums and the occasional trumpet, violin or other feature in the corner. The pleasantness of this calming music is countered by the lyrics. Death, decay, suffering. Miserable, mocking lines on lost love. Biblical imagery that even Jesus wouldn’t be sure how to interpret. ‘Tell me again…when the filth of the butcher…is washed in the blood of the lamb’ says it all. But it’s also wry and self-deprecating, or even honestly touching at other times. It’s certainly not for everyone, but if you’re looking for a suitably melancholy album to be all brooding and studenty over, then give it a listen. Recommended download: ‘Going Home’

Rebecca Price

F

irst things first: anyone expecting anything like virtuoso 1930s jazz guitarist Django Reinhardt from this review will end up disappointed. Django Django are a rough amalgam of Talking Heads, Hot Chip and Super Furry Animals, not that you’d be able to fathom that from the year’s most annoying press release, which tells us they’ll “[kidnap] our attention and taking us full belly circle with a throat and muse-tingling splash of firewater, some of which spills onto the spent ash of an extinguished criminal campfire; a campfire from which a malted barley beat lyrically stirs in the spittooned soot”. Somewhat unsurprisingly, they’re art students. A more helpful description would be “we sound like the Beta Band sometimes”, though that’s not the full extent of their sound. ‘Firewater’ and ‘WOR’ are rockabilly-infused romps, while ‘Hand of Man’ is lilting and pastoral. Recent single, ‘Default’ is infectiously buoyant. All the songs here are united by tribal drumming and close, reverb-laden harmonies, despite the smorgasbord of influences on display. The eccentricities of the record are also its strengths; while Django Django have a distinct, highly danceable sound based around lithe basslines, they never appear satisfied with sitting in a rut. It’s a very exciting, unique-sounding debut that promises much for the future. Recommended download: ‘Hail Bop’

Tom Nicholson

Follow The Courier music section on Twitter - @TheCourierMusic

Gig announcements, updates on the Newcastle music scene, track recommendations and exclusive articles. Oh, and plenty of #hashtags!


The Courier

featuresmusic.33

Monday 13 February 2012

thecourieronline.co.uk/music c2.music@ncl.ac.uk

Who ‘owns’ Lana Del Rey?

But this is no ordinary war. This is a war over possession of the most talked about woman of 2012. Flannel shirts are being donned; pin badges and autograph books are at the ready as both the alternative media and popular media duke it out to call Lana Del Rey their own. The first shots were fired by online blog Popjustice in an open letter to the alternative media but that was only the beginning. Chris Taylor asks - who really deserves Lana Del Rey?

Hipsters

She has a taste for the things people don’t really like too much

vs.

Popsters

She managed to bag a Top 10 hit

‘Video Games’ jumped straight into the #9 position in the UK charts. Radio 1 were playing it endlessly and girls angry at their boyfriends were quoting lyrics on Facebook. Meanwhile, Pitchfork writers were crying into their Belle & Sebastian t-shirts as their beloved was now well known.

With tracks on her album entitled ‘Diet Mountain Dew’ and with references to “Pabst Blue Ribbon on ice”, it’s clear she likes the things no-one else likes thus diverting from the mainstream. I mean, I thought the entire point of Mountain Dew was the sugar for energy purposes. If you take away the sugar to make it ‘diet’, it kind of renders it obsolete. And Pabst Blue Ribbon? You couldn’t get a more stereotypically ‘hipster’ beer. Just hope she doesn’t get angry when you say you prefer Heineken!

David Sneddon wrote some of her songs

Remember him? He won the 2002 edition of Fame Academy. Remember that? He also cowrote bits of Lana’s debut album. The mid-30s, baby faced man-child who became famous due to a reality show co-wrote bits of the album. Woe is us!

Alternatives love retro stuff

She’s pretty much Adele

Lana is pretty much the ultimate retro revival, even classing herself as the “gangster” Nancy Sinatra; dressing like she stepped out of Pleasantville. This is like Tamagotchis and Fresh Prince of Bel Air all over again!

You may want to deny it, but really Lana Del Rey is just an American Adele with the money for some surgery. They both seem to have had nasty break ups and they both won’t stop whining about it as if they have special guest appearances on Loose Women.

She’s the ultimate ‘break out’ girl

We all know how the likes of Pitchfork want to be the first to plug a new artist so, come SXSW, they can boast to their friends in the bar that they “found her mixtape before it was even released”. The amount of blog buzz and vitriolic comments was enough to make your It seems that the popsters win this one. While she might throw out some alternative average SPIN journalist faint in ecstasy. This hasn’t references and style herself with the use of a time machine, you just can’t deny that happened since M.I.A.! David Sneddon had something to do with her music. We’ll see her on the daytime Capital Radio playlists. At least the alternatives still have Azealia Banks, right?

Verdict

Ex-EMI boss sets the record straight

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ewcastle University alumni Tony Wadsworth’s extensive career in the music industry has spanned over work in radio, charity and the North East’s Generator. Oh, and he was also CEO of EMI - one of the biggest record labels in the world. Where did it all begin for you? When I was only seven, The Beatles were just really starting out and that age is when you start listening to pop music. This became a very important time for me in what shaped my future aspirations - to be honest I just never grew out of it. I came up here to Newcastle University to study economics, and managed to start up a band whilst here. Our first ever gig was here in the University, at something like the Fine Arts Christmas party, so we were very much a university band. We ended up staying in Newcastle for another year before moving to London. 1978 was a really exciting time to be in a band. We were playing at places like The Marquee, so some pretty famous venues, it was just tremendous. We broke up in 1979 and for me that was decision time; either I could go into something a bit more straight laced or carry on with the live performing. I wanted to work for a record label and applied to jobs through advertising and the trade paper. I worked for three or four very small labels in and around London - for me it was the first rung on the job ladder. I learned that the best way to get a job is from inside a company and inside the industry through contacts. When I first arrived at EMI, the first job I had was ensuring the LPs got made properly. The first real job I had with EMI was to make

money out of their back catalogue, which was amazing because at the time, no one was dedicated to that or had utilised this source - EMI had nearly 100 years of back catalogue from many artists. Who were the artists in EMI’s back catalogue at the time? Plenty of major artists, even including The Beatles. It was like a dream come true! I was in charge of this extensive library of music, containing tracks from my favourite bands and I was getting paid to do it, which was amazing. I honed my marketing skills and after a couple of years doing that I was invited to join a new record label which became Parlophone Records. When I got in there as a marketing guy it was a very raw hybrid of a label and it wasn’t being used to its full potential. So the ‘60s and ‘70s were a strong time for the label, how did the ‘80s treat you? The ‘80s for many bands was a very fashionable time, but I thought there was a lot of crap out there in the music world. I felt we were in a strong position at the time, as we were working with some of the best bands out there, and signed bands like the Pet Shop Boys, Marc Almond and even The Smiths. Later I became in charge of looking after bands like Queen and artists such as Tina Turner and Paul McCart-

On the record Classic album. Fresh perspective.

Until last week, I had never listened to L.A. Woman by The

Doors.

Yes, I’ve heard ‘Riders on the Storm’, who hasn’t? But I’ve never really got into The Doors, they’re one of those bands where you can hear a few singles and never really appreciate that there might be great albums that lay behind them. L.A. Woman, Jim Morrison’s final album, is one of those great ones. It’s Morrison’s voice that makes the album dark, brooding and bluesy, showing it was more than a fast living lifestyle which earned him a reputation as the archetypal rock star. ‘Cars Hiss by My Window’ is classic blues, subtle and understated but ending with a wailing that leaves you wondering whether it was made by either a guitar or Morrison. In many respects this is an album I might have dismissed as just well-executed blues-rock, but the subtle hints of other influences round out L.A. Woman into something greater than the sum of its parts - almost disco on opener ‘The Changeling’, then the distorted riffs of ‘L’America’ which move into heavy-rock territory. The darkness of the album is palpable; the blues of the first half of the record take on a denser atmosphere on the second, driven by insistent bass lines and Morrison’s deep voice that moves it beyond straightforward blues rock. I’m left feeling like this is an album I should have heard before, and, great though it is, there’s far more here than just ‘Riders on the Storm’.

ney. By using the credibility of these artists and the growing name of the Parlophone label, we were able to attract the likes of Radiohead and Blur, who with their third album Parklife, set the template for what became early Britpop. You hold the position of Visiting Professor in the music and business schools at Newcastle University. What does that entail? I come up to Newcastle University once a term and do a lecture on something to do with the industry for music and business students, then the rest of the day I spend doing one to one sessions with students discussing their ideas and providing them with some practical advice from someone who has been in their position. I think the University likes to have that close link to the industry to aid its students and be a point of contact. It’s very much a two way thing, and having a room full of very bright students asking quite challenging questions keeps you on your toes. Tell us about your involvement with BPI. I’m chairman of BPI (the British Phonographic Industry), which is the trade association for most record labels. There are around 250 independent record labels, and our job is to be in charge of promoting the interests of them. BPI actually owns the Brit Awards and aims to promote the British music industry. My role within that is being on the Brit Award committee. Profits from the awards go into two areas; one is the ‘Brit School’ in Croydon, which we sponsor. The other money goes into music therapy, allowing us to work with youngsters who we can’t get through to any other way. Then the other big project you’re involved in is Generator. I feel a strong connection with the North East and the bands from around here because I came here for university and played in a band around the region. Generator helps musicians who are

Ben Partridge at the early stages of their career, just starting up in the region, as many musicians may not have a strong knowledge of the commercial side to the industry. I think we do a good job in raising musicians’ awareness as well as providing links to the London music scenes and industries. We also teach people how to manage bands and artists, as well as help bands at an early stage find reliable and trustworthy people to enhance their abilities and find managers and promoters. Chris Scott


34.filmfeatures

5

thecourieronline.co.uk/film c2.film@ncl.ac.uk

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The Courier

Realist or romantic?

Top Movie Kisses

Monday 13 February 2012

w

Spiderman It is common sense that the hero eventually gets the girl and at some point there will be a passionate kiss, preferably after he’s saved her from a dangerous situation. So of course Spidey gets his smooch when beating up a bunch of guys chasing MJ while hanging upside down. Not everyone can pull that off.

4

Brokeback Mountain After being separated for four years, Jack visits Ennis and they immediately kiss upon meeting, with Ennis’ wife Alma secretly watching. It’s emotional, raw, and powerful, with the moment not needing any cheesy background music or romantic scenery whatsoever to convey the love they feel for each other.

3 Breakfast at Tiffany’s What are the ingredients for a great film kiss? Pouring rain, the magnificient Audrey Hepburn as playgirl Holly Golightly, Henry Mancini’s ‘Moon River‘ in the background and a cat squeezed inbetween Holly and her sweetheart Paul. A perfect ending for one of the most iconic films in history.

The Empire Strikes Back

2

What would you do if the one you love is to be frozen in carbonite? Confess your love for them and kiss them for the possibly last time? Exactly. That’s what Han Solo and Princess Leia did as well. Without a doubt the most romantic kiss in sci-fi.

1

Lady and the Tramp

The kiss we’ve all tried to copy, but instead ended up with a face smeared with bolognese sauce. Eating spaghetti has never been more romantic than with these two dogs in love. Beats Snow White and Princess Aurora being woken up by their respective princes by far. Woof, woof! Lisa Bernhardt

In light of the approach of the big day, Becca Price discusses the mechanics of the ‘Valentine’s film’ Never watch a film with me. Especially if it’s meant to be romantic. I’m always the one making stupid jokes and comments through Titanic: everything from what a good waterpark the set would make, to useful lifesaving tips that could have prevented poor Leo from freezing to death. Usually by this point, everyone at the girly movie night is bawling uncontrollably, and telling me I have no soul. They may be right, seeing how the main song only makes me think of organ donation. It just makes me wonder, what does count as a romantic film, or a romantic moment? I never really liked The Notebook, found PS I Love You slightly creepy and I’m cautious about any film involving Hugh Grant, but this doesn’t mean I have a heart of flint. They’re separate things, the ‘classic’ romance film and the one purposely designed to make you sob into your sharesize bag of Maltesers. They’re not meant to be Brief Encounter or Casablanca, or any of those other utter heartbreakers where you can never be together because it’s the 1940s, and you’re married, and possibly on the run from the Nazis. What about happy love stories? Disney may count, even though the couple are lucky to have one conversation with

Valentine’s Day at Tyneside Cinema? Given the current weather circumstances which can be called ‘unpleasant‘ at best, you might reconsider taking your date on a romantic beach stroll. So where else to spend Valentine’s Day with your partner or latest fling-hopefully-turning-into-something-more? A fancy restaurant? Too expensive (and nobody looks very romantic whilst eating). A concert? Too loud. Your house/flat/room? Too suggestive. Luckily there is a romantic place which you can even afford on a student budget: the cinema. You might not get to talk much during the film, but doesn‘t the darkness give you the perfect opportunity to sneakily put your arm around your chosen one? Thankfully, on February 14 Tyneside Cinema will screen the ‘North East‘s Favourite Romantic Film 2012’, as voted for by the public, sparing us the trouble of finding a movie that is at least remotely suitable for the occasion. Plus it gets even better: complimentary chocolates for everyone! As opposed to the sweeping classical romance movies, the selection this year is a more stripped back affair. The winner, Once, is a charming modern day musical, following the blossoming romance of a Dublinbased busker and Czech piano player, who discover they have amazing chemistry while making music. With heartfelt songs and a ‘real’ un -sentimentalised portrayal of romantic connection, it’s an effective treat for a perfect Valentine’s Day. Lisa Bernhardt

each other, or for the prince to even get a name. Beauty and The Beast may be one of Disney’s more convincing romances but even that may be due more to Stockholm Syndrome than anything else. A better example might be the first ten minutes or so of Up, capturing the tragic relationship of Carl and Ellie. Not exactly

Beauty and the Beast may be one of Disney’s more convincing romances but that may be due more to Stockholm Syndrome more than anything else Valentine’s Day fare, but it does say something when just a few minutes of partly-wordless CGI is more moving than many other movies starring living, breathing human beings. All I want is to be convinced that the two characters on screen - whether together or not - believably care about each other.

They don’t have to like each other at first, even I don’t have to like them at first, but two hours in their company should win me over. But don’t try to force me, filmmakers. I don’t like that. A study found that people who watched more romantic films were often harder to please in relationships, due to the disappointment that Ryan Gosling will never build a house for them. Maybe there’s hope for the cynics after all. Next time you’re planning a movie night with those who do and do not want to watch a love story, put The Terminator on. Ordinary girl suddenly rescued from danger by mysterious blonde man, runs away with him and (spoiler alert) starts a family. Beautiful. Everyone can enjoy Illustration: Emma Rawsthorne

“Here’s looking at you, kid.”

Casablanca (1942)

So it seems that the most divisive holiday of the year is upon us again (“it’s a chance for everyone to celebrate love!” or “It’s fabricated by greeting card companies to increase profits!”). Whether you’re on ‘team romance’ or ‘team corporate greed’, it’s hard to ignore that nagging voice in the back of your mind telling you that on Tuesday, you want to curl up on your bed and watch A Walk To Remember. “I’m your brain. Would I lie?” (By the way, yes, your brain is lying to you. You want to watch 10 Things I Hate About You instead). For those on the hunt for the films with the soppiest romantic one-liners, this list is for you.

“Now say you’re a bird, too.” “If you’re a bird, I’m a bird.” The Notebook (2004) is almost flawless. With the perfect combination of fierce wardrobes, social commentary, and the best-looking onscreen pair (Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams) since Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, this is the only dialogue in the movie that’s cringe-worthy.

“I’ll never let go, Jack…”

Titanic (1997) …and then (spoiler alert) she lets go.

“Nothing else existed... until I saw you. Then everything changed. I fell in love with you, Evey. And to think I no longer believed I could.”

“Love is too weak a word for what I feel — I luuurve you, you know, I loave you, I luff you, two F’s, yes I have to invent, of course I do. ” You complete ... me. Jerry Maguire (1996) Sometimes romance is most endearing when it manifests in its purest form - dependency. Eat your heart out, Kathy Bates.

V for Vendetta (2005) Guess what has no place in any movie (loosely) based on an Alan Moore graphic novel? Romance. V for Vendetta didn’t overdo it, but it seemed like a bit of a reach to have such an eloquent, albeit single-minded, vigilante fall in love with someone. Especially someone who cycles through about four or five different English accents throughout the course of the movie.

‘The pain is the only reminder that he was real.”

Twilight: New Moon (2009).Th (2009).The list of things that are wrong with the Twilight Saga could go on and on (and would start with the fact that werewolves EXPLODE OUT OF THEIR SHORTS when they transform) but this line, one of Bella’s, is pretty up there. It sounds like a Disturbed lyric. Or maybe it is one.

“All I want for Christmas… is you!”

Love Actually (2003) For anyone toeing the corporate greed party line, this flick is a solid argument. By making a Christmas romance movie, they can cash in on Christmas and Valentine’s Day. The moral of the story:Don’t ever quote a Mariah Carey song in a movie. Ever.

Maggie McBride


The Courier

reviewsfilm.35

Monday 13 February 2012

Film Editor: Chris Binding Online Film Editor: Hayley Hamilton

Martha Marcy May Marlene Sometimes cinematic trailers are so well constructed that they sell a film with only bare allusions to the narrative. Along with Shame, the trailer for Martha Marcy May Marlene suggested a brooding psychological horror, with flavours of sexual violence, neatly wrapped in a ‘Manson family’-type genre formula. Despite affinities to all three ‘appealing’ characteristics, writer and director Sean Durkin fundamentally breaks this mould, producing a mysterious, slow–burning account of a young woman’s traumatic re-assimilation to ‘normal’ life after spending two years in a cult. The narrative follows Martha (Elizabeth Olsen) escaping from the commune and relocating to the furnished weekend house of her wealthy older sister (Maria Dizzia) after a long absence. While attempting to adapt to her new surroundings and forge a strained relationship with her sister and yuppie husband, the narrative retreats seamlessly into Martha’s memories of experiences and abuse within the community. However, the film rarely regresses into traditional shock tactics, instead relying on silence,

allusion and fragmented memories, leaving the commune’s atrocities and other potential victims, left unseen. Mirrored by the dated cinematography, the scenes at the commune are bathed in the warm gauzy glow of nostalgia. Ruled over by the righteous patriarch Patrick (John Hawke), the commune is an attractive-looking utopia for young runways, with a socialist ethic of a collective community where ‘everybody finds their role’. But as Martha soon finds out from her

Chronicle

Carnage

‘cleansing’ initiation involving drugged rape, the position of women within the society is more liberal than first perceived, with women ‘shared’ amongst the men and impregnated by leader Patrick. However the real quality that separates Martha Marcy May Marlene from similar genre films is the believability of the community, brainwashed and bound together by fear, necessity and violence. Martha’s psychological aftershock is most pertinently expressed in her strained adaptation

Man on a Ledge

to a conservative environment. Coming into conflict with her materialistic sister over the events of her two year absence, she also finds herself castigated for simple traits, culminating in the powerful scene of ideologies clashing over the dinner table. With Martha’s inability to distinguish memories from dreams, and inadvertently quoting the words of Patrick, it is evident that her time at commune has irreversibly affected her and although the ending alludes to her getting expensive therapy, the demons of her past will undoubtedly follow her for life. The brooding intensity of the film may not satisfy everyone, with certain segments playing out like an extended melodrama. However the incredible performances and direction create a psychological drama that toys with space and time, made all the more horrific by its abjection of, rather than focus on, visceral violence. VERDICT: Bringing a whole new meaning to the term ‘free love’, this is M.Night Shyamalan’s The Village for the arthouse crowd. Although its slow pace might alienate some, its tangibly real themes, haunting tone and searing performances make this one to remember. Shame the same can’t be said for the film’s title. Chris Binding

Confessions

Picture: Sony Classics

What happens when you mix together the son of legendary director John Landis, a bunch of fresh faced great young actors (including Wallace from The Wire) and a Kryptonitelike glowy rock thingy underground? You get Chronicle: a movie that seemed to come out of nowhere, and that demands your attention. Chronicle is a fantastic mix of John Hughesesque teenage dilemmas with some 80s sci-fi elements and some POV found footage style thrown in for good measure. It follows a group of teenagers as they discover a glowing rock thing that gives them all superpowers, which they gradually train over time ‘like a muscle’. They start off small; skipping stones and playing mind baseball, but soon they start to fly and eventually use their powers for the ultimate teenage goal: to get laid. That is, until one of the boys misuses their power leading to a rift in the group which slowly starts to become wider and wider until it reaches a climax so great that all the built-up tension explodes in your face. The film manages to get around the problem other POV films have had by smartly using the mind powers to have the camera separate from the boys, creating shots that would need a fourth party. Of course it can get a little gimmicky at times, especially when there is no camera present, but it doesn’t become too distracting. It’s not perfect but you’ll be hard pushed to find a more interesting and exciting movie right now!

Based on the play God of Carnage by Yasmina Reza, Carnage is a subtle satire about two New York couples who come together to discuss their children’s spat in the park - but when irreconcilable differences between them are brought to light, the superficial civility disappears and the couples descend into a chaotic war of words. Apart from the beginning and end shots, the film comprises an extended sequence shot entirely in one of the couple’s homes. However, experienced director Roman Polanski makes sure that there is never a dull moment in this uncomfortable liaison. The dialogue is witty and loaded with social and political ironies, but unquestionably the major appeal, and what is most likely to draw in audiences, is the stellar cast which includes Kate Winslet, Jodie Foster, Christopher Waltz and John C. Reilly, who play up the irritating sides of each of their characters’ personalities. Before watching the film, I was cynical about how well this play would translate onto film and it does certainly lack action, as the beginning focuses on the falsely polite gestures of the couples. But after a spectacular vomiting scene, the focus changes to petty offensive gestures. Although Carnage is a cleverly crafted social satire, the whole film’s dramatic build-up culminates in an over-symbolic theatrical climax, leaving a sense of belated disappointment.

There are often stereotypes about Hollywood clearly having more money than sense and, having sat through nearly two hours of Sam Worthington literally standing on a ledge doing nothing, it seems incredibly plausible. Asger Leth’s most recent film succumbs to almost every cliché known to man, ultimately failing in just about every aspect. The film tells the story of policeman-turnedescaped-convict Nick Cassidy’s (Worthington) plight to prove his innocence whilst his brother Joey, played by Jamie Bell, who really should have stuck to dancing if this performance is anything to go by, embarks on the heist that will restore Nick’s freedom. It doesn’t take a genius to realise how the film will end, and as the sun sets on the day, Cassidy is reunited with his dad and, unsurprisingly, gets the girl - shocking, I know. It’s not an action film, or a thriller, and if it’s a mystery then it fails from the very start, but it is surprisingly funny. Yet one thing that is a mystery to the audience is where the rumoured $40million budget went. There were no impressive stunts and no clothes for Genesis Rodriguez, so maybe director Leth bought the coveted Monarch diamond that Billy Elliot hunts. But all was not entirely lost. It was genuinely laugh out loud throughout and although blatantly predictable, Bell and Rodriguez’s quest for the diamond was well-constructed and featured the only moments of genuine suspense in the film.

Based on Kanae Minato’s bestselling Japanese novel Kokuhaku, director Tetsuya Nakashima explores the idea of how culpable children are for their actions. Rising above strong shortlisted competition as Japan’s official entry to the Academy Awards, Confessions is awash with self-serving malicious characters set on viewing themselves as victims in some form. The story opens with a superlative soliloquy from schoolteacher Yuko Moriguchi (Takako Matsu) who recounts her report of how her four year old daughter Manami was killed. Revealing that she was murdered by two of the students in her class, what follows is a gradual build up to a revengeful plan. Supported by a series of flashbacks and sub plots of the core cast that each reveal a certain “confession” that connect to a conclusively morbid but satisfying finale, Tetsuya Nakashima uses heretical devices to distort the moralistic questions that surround its premise. The continuous usage of convex mirrors distils the boundaries of truth and makes for some great symbolism, along with the clever contrast between the colours white and red, which adds to the destructive tone of the film. And it’s always an accomplishment if the director manages to make you feel a sense of admiration for a sadistic killer. Some people may find the film’s message slightly disturbing, with the gloomy, melodramatic sound track matching the dim subtext of the film with the perplexing use of Radiohead standing out as a real buzz kill.

VERDICT: Channelling the likes of Carrie and [REC], Chronicle manages to mash together genres that wouldn’t necessarily work well together and creates an exciting film with a brilliantly tense climax.

VERDICT: With great casting and interesting source material, Carnage ticks a lot of boxes. However the humour, which is better suited to a theatre audience, and a disappointing climax leave a frustrating sour taste after what is, at times, a genuinely brilliant comedy of errors.

VERDICT: If you go with low expectations of a generic action film then it won’t disappoint: although generally inoffensive and predictable, it’s not actually that bad for a film taking place on a ledge. Exploit student discount offers if you choose to go.

VERDICT: Impressively glued together, and a refreshing change of pace to Nakashima’s usually style. Confessions’ questioning of the innocence of childhood morality and its misanthropic message makes for some truly thrilling entertainment.

Grace Harvey

Luke Hearfield

Chris Taylor

Finola Gibson


36.science

Monday 13 February 2012

The Courier

thecourieronline.co.uk/science c2.science@ncl.ac.uk

5 things you need to know

Twitter more addictive than cigarettes

5 science lies taught at school

#psychological_study reveals we simply cannot resist social media

There are 5 senses

1

There are in fact 9-20 senses depending on your definition. As well as sight, sound, smell, taste and touch, humans also possess senses like properiception (spatial awareness), equilibrium, nociception (pain), evacuation (bog)…the list goes on.

Everyone is unique

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Semantics. This gives too much licence. We are all of one species. Remove the superficial aspects of appearance and present us with certain situations and humans will behave pretty much identically. We are as different from one another as any troop of apes.

8 glasses of water

3

Water is indeed essential for life. However, it is possible to derive water from foodstuffs and juices, not necessarily from drinking copious amounts of council pop. While it’s healthier to be well-hydrated, don’t panic if you fail to meet your Robinson’s-endorsed quota.

Great Wall of China

4

Because of stupid primary school teachers, many people still believe the Great Wall of China is the only man-made object visible from the moon. This is nonsense, and is barely visible even in low orbit.

Newton’s apple

5 Newton discovered gravity because an apple fell on his head as he mused beneath a tree. LIE. Newton never told this story himself; it was a humorous myth that came into existence some decades after his theorems on gravity were published.

psychological study into willpower has found that resisting tweeting or A checking emails is harder than resisting

cigarettes or alcohol. Sex and sleep are the most powerful urges people can experience. However, people are far more likely to give in to the cravings of social media. A German study of 205 people aged between 18 and 85 is the first of its kind, the results soon to be published in the prestigious journal of Psychological Science. The study group were signalled 7 times a day for 7 days and were expected to reply whether they had experienced a desire in the last 30 minutes, including the nature and strength of that desire. Of the 10,000 responses, almost 8,000 were desire episodes. Wilhelm Hoffman, leader of the research team, explained: “Modern life is a welter of assorted desires marked by frequent conflict and resistance, the latter with uneven success”. As sleep is seemingly the most powerful desire, the conflicting desire for leisure seems to suggest many of the subjects experienced tension. Interestingly, as the day wore on, willpower declined. As work desires lowered, spending and sexual impulses soared, with very few reported urges for ciga-

Picture this Derek Acorah’s Answering Machine

rettes, coffee or alcohol in a direct affront to the stereotypical concept of addiction. As the research team stated: “Resisting the desire to work when it conflicts with other goals such as socialising or leisure activities may be difficult because work can define people’s identities, dictate many aspects of daily life, and invoke penalties if important duties are shirked.” The team suggested that the desire for engaging in social media was so difficult to resist due to the readily available nature of the vice and the fact that such little cost is required to indulge in them, unlike costly addictions like smoking or drinking. We can also kid ourselves that popping on twitter is far more innocent as a time-waster than other addictions. Hofmann added: “We made clear to participants that answering their BlackBerrys did not count. Also people really did not feel a desire to use them – they only beeped once in a while and, if anything, that was more annoying than pleasing, I guess. And there was nothing else they could use the devices for.” Joe Willet

Forget nipping out for a tab or 11 o’clock coffee...Photo Flickr

A machine is invented that can convert brainwaves into physical speech James Ricketts


The Courier

science.37

Monday 13 February 2012

Science Editor: Mark Atwill Science Online Editor: Adam Brigstow-Smith

The beastly reality of bestiality

‘Animal sex’ is a term used in a much too positive light. Science Editor Mark Atwill runs down 9 of the strangest animal mating facts that might put you off

7

Cba tbh. woychukb Flickr

1 4 Blissfully unaware. TieGuy II Flickr

Unsurprisingly exhausted. GraphicReality Flickr

2

Lookin all cute with my robot penis! Ramseyarnoot

Avin a G-Raff. Mr Muskrat Flickr

5 A sperm bigger than its body. Bareego Flickr

6

8 Corkscrewing. Nature

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Unsurprisingly exhausted. GraphicReality Flickr Cba tbh. woychukb Flickr

I can has babies?! mape_s Flickr

3

It’s what you do with it that counts. roger a1

1. Honey bee

4. Giraffe

7. Dolphin

Much like Queen Elizabeth I, when a virgin queen bee emerges from her cell for her inaugural flight, she is hotly pursued by a plethora of male suitors. This is where the similarity ends. On mating, the male drone’s genitals will snap off inside the queen, its testicles will explode, and then it will die! The idea is that the snapped off penis plugs the queen’s bits and prevents other males from fertilizing her. If you ask me, it’s a bit extreme...

Mating is an altogether ridiculous thing for an animal that looks like it’s made of bits of knotted string. To add insult to injury, a male will check if a female is ready for mating by the “fleshman sequence”, during which he will encourage her to urinate, then take a mouthful of her urine to see if she tastes ready. If she does, he will then follow her around until she gives in. Knowing this, go and watch Madagascar. Awful.

So dolphins are cute are they? In fact, they’re incredibly aggressive predators, viciously territorial, and have a retractable Inspector Gadget-esque prehensile, swivelling penis. This means a male dolphin can use his penis like a hand to explore and manipulate objects. Not cute. Even more sinister: gangs of lusty male dolphins will often use their weird swivelling pensises in an homage to hentai tentacle porn to attempt to gang-rape wandering females. Not. Cute.

Explosive orgasm

2. Bonobo

Make love not war

Gangland territorial disputes would be somewhat more lighthearted if, like bonobos, the antagonists settled their differences by having sex. In fact, bonobos use just about anything as an excuse for a tumble. They mutually masturbate, have oral sex and engage in penis fencing or ‘frottage’, often just for a laugh. Naturalists have noted that they are one of the most peaceful mammalian societies on Earth, no guff Chett.

3. Hyena

Chick’s got balls!

Female hyenas are bigger, stronger and more aggressive than males. Oh, and they also have balls…and a pseudo-penis. Essentially an enlarged clitoris, it can be erected at will for greeting displays and mating purposes. To mate, the male has to insert his penis into the female’s pseudopenis. Even worse, she then has to give birth through a penis!

Watersports

5. Giant panda Panda porn!

Giant pandas don’t want to have sex. It’s no great secret. Put a male and female together in captivity and they will laze around, eat, sleep and barely even notice each other. Just like your average married couple really! In an attempt to spice up their marital life, zookeepers in China have started showing adult pandas steamy, bear-ly legal amateur footage of panda sex. Hasn’t really worked.

6. Fruit fly

Longest sperm in the world

Unbelievably, the world record for longest sperm goes to the tiny fruit fly Drosophila bifurca. Normally coiled, stretching the cell out reveals it is about 5cm long, over 1000 times the length of a human sperm. Fruit fly testes account for about 11% of the male’s body mass. Unsurprising.

That’s not his hand

8. Argentine lake duck Fowl play

These ducks are about 17 inches long. Ridiculously, so is their corkscrew penis when stretched out to its full length. The tip of this gargantuan thing is soft and brush like, to sweep away any sperm left behind by other males, and the shaft is malleable enough to be used to lasso a female who tries to escape. Mental.

Weird Science

Chilled monkey brains

Our close simian cousins have long proven to be the perfect model for understanding how our brains function. But despite similar anatomy, several million years of evolution separates our species, and a new method has recently been devised to study what - evolutionarily speaking - defines us as human. In what can only be described as a weird Kubrick/1984-esque press-ganged midnight rush viewing, Old World monkeys (macaques) and humans were observed and their brains scanned as they watched Sergio Leone’s The Good, the Bad and the Ugly in order to observe physical and behavioural differences between the species triggered by the experience. Why that particular film? It’s based on a 2004 method which established that the film triggered the auditory and visual regions of many individuals’ brains in a similar way. For this study, the science of neurocinematics has been adapted to enable evolutionary, pan-species study. MRI scans of 24 volunteers (human) watching the same 30-minute clip of the film revealed that the patterns of neural stimulation were very comparable. They then repeated the study with 4 macaques, which, very surprisingly, showed similar brain activity to one another. Focusing on 34 distinct areas, the monkey and human brains were then compared. It turns out, we both process visual information hierarchically, progressing from initial visualization through successive stages during which we process the complex details of the information we are receiving. The fundamental difference between the two simply seems to be that the expansion of the cerebral cortex in the human brain permits the information to be processed much faster and over a smaller area of the brain. This direct comparison of functionally and spatially similar brain anatomy is apparently a big deal for evolutionary neurologists. It is hoped that this unusual investigation will provide a clearer view on how the human brain has evolved from a physiological perspective. The purpose of this study can be put down to our curiosity and desire for information resulting from our increased cognitive function, which was caused by evolutionary physiological neural changes. A possible purpose of the work is the conclusion itself: the pursuit of knowledge for its own sake in the absence of purpose. The Big Brother-condoning final generation of civilization strikes again with more coffee stains on the final page of human history. Mark Atwill

9. Mountain gorilla Not big and not clever

Silverback gorillas are immensely strong, terrifying and muscular beasts that preside over a harem of up to 30 females, with whom they will mate all year round. However, the average gorilla penis is less than 4cm long. You know those guys who live at the gym and take that stuff that makes their muscles spasm…methinks a pattern emergeth...

Monkey business. Photo ActiveSteve Flickr

It’s what you do with it that counts. roger a1


38.technology

Monday 13 February 2012

The Courier

thecourieronline.co.uk/science c2.technology@ncl.ac.uk

There ISS no browser choice on campus

Flickr: shaolin46

The Universities Information Systems and Services (ISS) are slowly removing browser choice from computer clusters across campus. Deputy Editor Elliot Bentley explains... A few years ago, Internet Explorer was, to most people, the button you click to get online. Microsoft’s dominance peaked in 2003 with a 96% market share: there was virtually no other option. In the nine years since, however, its dominance has been eroded by the rise of alternatives like Firefox, Chrome and Safari. These browsers aren’t just the preserve of geeks, either, but have become mainstream - maybe even fashionable. Firefox and Chrome are now used by around onequarter of UK residents each, while Internet Explorer usage has dropped to an all-time low of 45%. Choice of browser is a given. That is, except at Newcastle University. I have a lot of nice things to say about ISS, the University’s computer people. They’re constantly innovating, for example: the new mobile cluster finder is pretty slick, and the message displayed when you leave your USB stick in a computer is simply genius. However, one area ISS seems to lag

behind in is its choice of browsers on cluster computers. Internet Explorer is the default and only option, popping up as soon as you log in and appearing on the desktop, taskbar and in the start menu. True, other browsers are sort of available, if well-hidden. Firefox is installed in most places, but stubbornly refuses to save bookmarks or history. The version of Chrome installed, meanwhile, is so old that the computers refuse to run it at all! And - though I’m not sure which cluster this was in - I’ve even noticed Firefox beginning to be quietly removed altogether. It surely must be possible for ISS to install and support multiple browsers. In fact, a couple of years ago they did. They were hidden away, mind, but both Chrome and Firefox were installed on most computers - and even saved your bookmarks and history! If it’s possible, then, why don’t the ISS support multiple browsers in clusters today? Being the computer-

wizards they are, I’m sure the thought has crossed their minds. Is it because they’re worried their internal pages and apps won’t work outside of Internet Explorer? It’s a fair concern, since sites can tend to be pretty inconsistent across browsers. In that case, though, why not just include a message to users of other browsers that Internet Explorer is recommended? Or perhaps ISS are of the opinion that the majority of students will be confused by an excess of icons on their desktop. I like to think, though, that as a group we’re generally techsavvy enough to recognise Firefox, Safari et al. Or perhaps I’m just an idealist. This isn’t just a matter of me being picky about browsers. For students practising web design (like, er, myself), being able to test your site in each browser is important. And with Internet Explorer rapidly losing its monopoly, sites are increasingly be-

ing designed with other browsers in mind. Google, who develop Chrome (and therefore have something of a vested interest), are already offering services to Chrome users exclusively. Even beyond practical use, installing additional browsers is something that’s simply good for the web, and maybe by extension society as a whole. Diversity and competition between browsers has increased their rate of development in recent years

Online Piracy: It’s not the end of the world

Adam Bristow-Smith explains why online piracy isn’t necessarily a bad thing... The internet. There was a time, not too long ago, when it was a technology still in its infancy. I remember my family being one of the first to get wireless broadband in our house. Now, everyone has it. The internet has become a constant presence in our lives; we live in a culture that is always connected and it has changed the way we live so fundamentally and extensively that you’d need a book to show it all. There is one area, however, that has recently received a lot of media attention: online piracy. The potential passing of the SOPA and PIPA bills in America generated a huge amount of online protest. The huge and vaguely-defined remit of these bills contained the potential to hugely damage the internet’s capacity for free speech and innovation. Thankfully neither of these bills were passed. Unfortunately, an agreement called ACTA (Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement) has been under negotiation privately with shamefully little media coverage and, if passed, could mean similarly serious infringements on privacy, civil liberties and freedom of speech. The question on my mind is, why are they so bothered? The entertainment industry claims that the internet is destroying it, yet Hollywood blockbusters still gross millions in profits, musicians continue to produce music and the world hasn’t imploded in on itself.

So many times we’ve been assured that a new technology would destroy the entertainment industry. The VHS, cassettes, mp3 players, even the gramophone and records were prophesied to bring doom. Imagine how much less rich the world would be if we’d rejected these technologies. The naysayers were almost certainly less concerned with the decline of artistic production than they were with the decline of their personal bank accounts. But the way the industry calculates loss is inaccurate. They equate each lost sale with lost money whereas, realistically, many downloads are by people that wouldn’t buy the product in the first place and the prices record companies and the like charge online are especially difficult to justify when there isn’t even the cost of producing physical CDs. If we allow it to, the internet could create a new kind of economy. We can see the beginnings of this today. There are services, like Spotify, that work on a semi-free, semi-subscription based system. In the computer games industry there is the Humble Indie Bundle, which allows the buyer to name the price; obviously some pay nearly nothing but most pay what they feel is appropriate and both they and the developers are happy. There is also Steam, an online system that makes purchasing and downloading games extremely easy and often features sales with ridiculously huge discounts.

Ultimately the question is one of what we value most, profit or a cultural enrichment. There is no movement to hunt down and persecute used-book salesmen and owners, despite the original publishers not getting any profit (and having actually paid for printing originally). Suggesting Wikipedia be banned because those that read it have not paid for all the books and sources that it draws information from would be ridiculous. More people having better access to more information and art is a good thing.

I’m not suggesting a free-for-all where no one ever pays for everything - that wouldn’t happen anyway. People produce art for the sake of art and people reward them for the sake of rewarding. Compromising fundamental rights and the freedom of information in the name of nothWikimedia Commons ing more than profi t margins is just stupid. And always remember that, however bad online pirates may be, they are infinitely preferable to the real pillaging-and-raping kind.

and advanced the technology to the level necessary for great web apps like Facebook Chat and Google Docs. In the same way that the University places recycle bins everywhere on campus, and offers Fairtrade produce in all its cafes, they should allow - nay, encourage students to use alternative browsers. Okay, so there are plenty of worthier causes to rally behind. Yet surely I’m not the only one who feels this way: after all, the European Union sees browser choice as so important that they forced Microsoft to offer a selection to all new PC owners. If only the EU would do the same to ISS.

Apps

for Valentine’s Day Shaun Butcher

Love Hunt This is spot the difference, but with a very romantic twist. Simply enlist the help of your other half and tap the differences that you spot - there are 5 in total for each level. With a simple interface, it’s an easy app to use.

Chat-up lines

iOS (Free)

For those single people out there who are struggling to find a date this Valentine’s day, this app is for you! With over fifty phrases, you are guaranteed to get a date. Also, if you think you can do better, you can submit your own phrases for everyone to use. My favourite: “I’m on top of things. Would you like to


The Courier

tv.39

Monday 13 February 2012

thecourieronline.co.uk/tvandradio c2.editor@ncl.ac.uk tv editor: Aimee Philipson

“Paddy McGuiness? He’s a hero!” Kat Bannon and Aimee Philipson speak to Take Me Out contestant Jack Rutter about that ‘Sex Party Scandal’, why he wouldn’t kiss a girl on television, and how he’s still on the market...

A few weeks ago, Jack was an ordinary Newcastle student in his first year studying Countryside Management and living in Castle Leazes. Now, since appearing on the Saturday night favourite Take Me Out, he’s become a campus celebrity. Stopping conversations in their tracks, his status goes as far as to even bag him free chicken nuggets on a night out. So, what made you apply to Take Me Out in the first place? I’ve got a friend who presented a programme on BBC4 called ‘Clogg dancing’ - they did a big Clogg dancing thing outside Eldon Square, like a flash mob thing and one of the guys who worked on that was one of the producers of Take Me Out. He asked if he knew anyone on the folk scene who’d be up for it. I though, yeah, I may as well! What was the audition like? They videoed me for an hour just chatting to them about anything, then there was a pretend run-through of the show but with a clipboard, and so I had to pick the girls from that. I didn’t hear much for two weeks and then right, yeah - it’s go time now! Were you not really scared about what people would think about you? Oh I thought I’ll just be me, I’ll just be an idiot and nobody could really hate me! Were there lots of things that didn’t get to the actual show? I can’t remember ! The whole thing was like being really drunk. It was just like being off your face and waking up in the morning and thinking what actually happened. When I watched it back I was like ‘Oh no, I don’t remember that bit!’ Did you meet the other girls after the show? Not really, you just get your date - but one of the girls organised that party that made the front page of The Sun. So, you were at that ‘Take Me Out Sex Party Scandal’ then? What was that like? It was just - it wasn’t like an orgy; imagine if you got 50 people and put them in a mansion and gave them unlimited vodka. Like, stuff ’s going to happen but it wasn’t the most mental thing I’ve done - I’ve done stupider things. It was good, but it wasn’t that

Looking back, is there another girl you would have liked to have gone on a date with? Well, probably not but you never know. I mean, earlier I had a chicken tikka Subway - would I have preferred a sweet onion chicken teriyaki? Who knows!

Courtesy of ITV

you know when it comes to at the night out and they’re saying oh you’ve got to pull her. No, I’m not going to do that when I’m on the camera for millions of people to see - if I want to pull somebody I could just go out in Newcastle. I don’t need to go to another country to kiss a girl on the telly. What’s Paddy McGuiness like? He was a hero! He was proper polite and gentlemanly and like properly funny constantly. I don’t know if I’d ever like to live with him. I’d be like, ‘alright please, just not another joke, it’s early’! But yeah he’s really nice. He’s the best wingman in the world, they didn’t put it in but he was actu-

the two girls that were left. She wanted me to go with Charlotte who was a bit weird - she actually eats soap. Looking back, is there another girl you would have liked to have gone on a date with?’ Well, probably not but you never know. I mean earlier I had a chicken tikka Subway - would I have preferred a sweet onion chicken teriyaki? Who knows! How’s the celebrity status treating you? Weird. Seriously creepy. Nights out are just odd. You hear someone’s conversation and then they go quiet and start whispering. Really weird. People are always buying me drinks.

“It was nice to kind of think, yeah, the party I went to made the front page of the biggest newspaper in Britain and all I did was eat bacon.”

crazy. It was nice to kind of think, yeah, the party I went to made the front page of the biggest newspaper in Britain and all I did was eat bacon. There was so much free bacon! They filmed this video around the pool and I’m not in any of it because at the time I was cooking a pizza. Are you disappointed the date didn’t go amazingly? Not particularly, I went on it to have fun. When you go to the gossip and you see ‘And in the morning she’s leaving his room” you think “Hhmm your mum’s watching that, your grandma’s watching that.” I don’t mind people thinking I’m silly but

ally wing-manning me on the show! Did you meet the other guys? Yeah, you meet the other boys in the dressing room. I saw this massive guy and thought, ‘Oh god he’s a massive hench wrestler’, and I didn’t even know whether he was a massive hench wreastler or not. Then we just played Fifa and chilled. Did it get really competitive between you? It was awkward because three of us came back and were like “Yeah! We’re going to Fernandos!” and the other guy was like, “Oh, I got a blackout.” What did your Mum think about it? She loved it. She didn’t actually like

The manager of Riverside came and found me the other day. I was like ‘Me? I’m an idiot!’ The other week I got kicked out of here for nothing and now you’re trying to be my friend? Yeah I’ll take that.’ I’ve only got another week and a half of it left. Any funny stories of people recognising you? Ha, I got started on by a Scottish guy outside Bar 38 because he was really angry that I didn’t pick Grace. I had to sit him down and give him a cuddle. Anything else you’d like to add? Put he’s still single! Make sure you get that in.

Must-watch of the week

My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding

Tuesday, 9pm Channel 4 As the second series of My Big Fat Gypsy Weddings approaches later this month, I wonder whether it can still claim to give the public “neverbefore-seen-access to this fiercely private community”. The entertaining documentary will show more outlandish and elaborate wedding dresses than ever before whilst we follow the run up to the biggest day of a gypsy’s girl’s life. The show never fails to shock. Watching the preparation that goes in to a Gypsy wedding serves as an incredibly useful tool for procrastination. I fear we will all be exchanging our ever-mounting work load for a cheeky peek of an orange meringue walking (or struggling) down the aisle. And who can blame us? After all, watching how other people live is totally addictive. Informative and educational? Or a modern day freak show? Either way I can guarantee you’ll while away the hours with your gypsy friends this semester. Freya Leete

Hottie of the week

George Lamb

If you thought Larry Lamb was a total D.I.L.F in Gavin and Stacey (he plays Gavin’s dad, Mick Shipman), wait until you clap eyes on his son George Lamb. Breaking out into the celebrity sphere as a presenter on many programmes including Celebrity Scissorhands, The Restaurant and Young Butcher of the Year, his career high so far has been presenting on Big Brother’s Little Brother and having his own show on BBBC Radio 6 Music. He’s the only guy who can make grey hair look hot at just 32 years old - check him out on The Bank Job on Channel 4 this Friday at 7pm. Aimee Philipson


40

Puzzles

Monday 13 February 2012

Crossword

Medium

Across

Hard

Wordsearch

thecourieronline.co.uk/puzzles c2.puzzles@ncl.ac.uk Puzzles Editor: Laura Armitage

You can find the answer s to this week’s puzzles a thecou rieronli t ne. co.uk/p uzzles

Sudoku

The Courier

Across 1. Bulgaria (5) 3. England (6) 6. South Korea (5) 8. Austria (6) 10. Portugal (6) 11. Oman (6) 12. Haiti (4-2-6) 14. Greece (6) 15. Tunisia (5) 19. Poland (6) 21. Bahrain (6) 22. The Philippines (6) 23. Maldives (4)

Down

1. Sweden (9) 2. Jordan (5) 3. Togo (4) 4. Argentina (6,5) 5. Jamaica (8) 6. Fiji (4) 7. Syria (8) 9. Trinidad and Tobago (4-2-5) 13. Canada (6) 16. Zimbabwe (6) 17. Peru (4) 18. Cape Verde (5) 20. Italy (4)

the lete hand p m Co d and fswor Courier o o s o r t c The nce in to r the cha Bar s fo Men fice 5 £ ! win a ouncher v Airedale Alsatian Appenzeller Basset Beagle Bedlington Bloodhound Borzoi Boxer Bulldog Chihuhua Chinook Chow Chow Collie Corgi Dachshund Dalmatian Doberman Great Dane Greyhound Husky Jack Russell Labrador Landseer Magyar Mastiff Pekingese Pointer Pomeraian Poodle Pug Rottweiler Samoyed Sanshu Setter Sheepdog Spaniel Terrier Whippet

Word Link

Find a word that connects the three words

Kidney

Grind

Wall

Rhyme

Slopes

Day

Building Riddle

Wreck

Shape

Family

Battle

Flush

First past the post Logic Puzzle Six horses were entered in the 2.30 at Derbyville today. Three of the horses were fillies and three were colts (one of which was Mister Magic). Can you match the horses and riders and work out where each horse finished? 1. The horse ridden by Kelly didn’t finish last. The one ridden by O’Shea wasn’t first but finished immediately ahead of Birthday Boy. 2. The horse that finished last has a name which starts with the same initial as the colt (ridden by Riley), who didn’t finish fourth. 3. Lucky Lady finished some way ahead of the colt Jones was riding. 4. Likely Lad finished some way behind the horse ridden by Davis whose horse finished two or three places ahead of Bonnie Lass. 5. Golden Girl finished either three places ahead or three places behind the one ridden by Murray.


Sport The Courier

41

Monday 13 February 2012

Sport Editors: Colin Henrys, Harry Slavin and Rory Brigstock-Barron Online Sport Editors: Grace Harvey and Charlie Scott courier.sport@ncl.ac.uk

thecourieronline.co.uk/sport

Arrows ace after another Jackpot The current PDC World Singles and Pairs champion Adrian Lewis talks to Sports Editor Colin Henrys about his success so far, his rivalry with James Wade and his hopes for the new Premier League season

There are very few English sportsmen who can claim to have won a World Cup for England, and even fewer who have done so while holding the title of their sport’s World Champion. On Sunday 5 February however, by hitting the double five to secure a sudden death victory over Australia for him and his England team mate Phil ‘the Power’ Taylor, ‘Jackpot’ Adrian Lewis did just that to confirm his status as one of the world’s current leading darts players. “I’m World Singles Champion and now I’m also World Pairs Champion – it doesn’t get much better than that to be honest,” he proudly told The Courier. Lewis is supremely confident in his own ability, something which comes across a lot throughout the interview, but he confessed that even he felt the nerves as he stepped up to the oche to sink the match winning throw. Having seen Australia come from 3-0 down to level the match and force the sudden death leg, Lewis could only watch as the Aussie pairing of Paul Nicholson and Simon Whitlock both missed the chance to claim victory, either side of Taylor also missing his doubles. “I was praying more than anything!” he joked. “When it went in it was a great feeling.” To some, the World Cup is more a warm-up to the higher-paying singles matches but Lewis rebuked this claim when asked if he also saw it as such, stating that it was something he wanted to win and admitting that playing alongside darts legend Taylor was ‘brilliant’. Despite being the World Champion, he told The Courier that he still looked to learn from Taylor, just as he believed Taylor was still learning himself. Lewis also confesses that he does not believe it likely that he can emulate Taylor’s record 15 world titles, but has still set himself the target of between eight and ten World Championship titles of his own, a goal that reflects the confidence he holds in himself. While such claims could be perceived as arrogance, ‘Jackpot’ is increasingly following up his talk with results. His victory over Andy Hamilton in the PDC World Championship final, at the Alexandra Palace in January, made him only the third man behind darts icons Eric Bristow and Raymond van Barneveld to successfully defend his first world title – he beat Gary Anderson to the title the previous year in a match notable for Lewis throwing a nine-dart finish en route to his success. He also states that the pressures of being the World Champion are not something that get to him: “Obviously with winning it last year everyone’s seen me as a target but I don’t feel as much pressure. I feel different this year and I think I’ll win a few more majors.” It could so easily have been different for Lewis however, as the day before

“I’m World Singles Champion and now I’m also World Pairs Champion - it doesn’t get much better than that.”

Adrian Lewis with his World Championship trophy after beating Andy Hamilton at the Alexandra Palace in January, his second successive title. Photo: Tom Shaw/Getty Images Sport

his World Championship win he had found himself 5-1 down to rival James Wade in the semi-finals and was one throw away from being eliminated. “When I was 5-1 down I was thinking this is not my night at all [but] there was a crucial 90 finish in there after he’d missed a one-darter and as soon as I did that I was thinking ‘come on now you can turn this around, you’ve just got to win the next couple of legs’, and that’s what I did.” While he makes it sound simple he knows it was far from it, admitting that to win from such a situation takes some doing, something which he confessed was playing on his mind when he was up on the stage that night, staring at defeat. Nevertheless he was able to secure a victory in ‘the most important game’ he has ever played, a victory made all the sweeter because it came against James Wade who has become one of Lewis’ main rivals, in front of a vociferous crowd. His perceived arrogance has irked some fans and when Lewis made the mistake of criticising the constant booing that he had received, the fans increased the volume for the semifinal.

It was turned up a couple more notches during the match too when Lewis left the stage at two sets down complaining of a draft. His victory, he admitted, was also about shutting the crowd up.

‘JACKPOT’ BYNUMBERS

2

World Titles

Lewis is the only man to ever throw a nine-dart finish in a World Championship Final (in 2011)

9

180s thrown by Lewis in this year’s World Championships

His match-saving checkout against James Wade at the Alexandra Palace

50

94

When asked about whether his and

Wade’s rivalries can become one of the more notable ones in the game, Lewis agreed stating: “Obviously he’s going to be after a world title and he’s got to get through me first.” Indeed, Wade is among Lewis’ rivals in the Premier League, which got under way on Thursday, as the latter aims to go one better than his runners-up spot last year. In order to do that he accepts that he must show more consistency than in the past, but unsurprisingly believes in his ability to do exactly that: “I think I showed patches of brilliance last year, but I drew a couple of matches and lost some too. “I’ve been putting more work in so I’m going to try and go one better this year.” The fixture list paired ‘Jackpot’ against his World Cup team-mate Phil Taylor in the opening round of fixtures. Prior to the match, Lewis refused to write off the 15-times World Champion despite some poor recent performances stating: “The Power, well he always comes good. He gets to the big occasions and he just turns it on.” He was proved right too, as despite

Lewis having led 6-1, Taylor mounted one of the League’s greatest ever comebacks to draw the match 7-7, despite Lewis maintaining a three-dart average of over 100. His next opponent will be van Barneveld in Aberdeen, another legend of the game who has shown indifferent form recently. Despite this however, Lewis confesses that he is still wary of ‘Barney’: “Van Barneveld’s doing a lot more in the Players’ Championships now - at the weekends - to sharpen up. I said that to him at the start of this year before the World Championships – that’s what he wants to be doing if he wants to sharpen up. In three or four months time I think we’ll see a different Barney to be honest.” As well as being up against Barney, who also drew his opening match (with Simon Whitlock), Lewis will be playing against the ‘Barney Army’ - the Dutchman’s vociferous support - and Lewis knows that the only way to silence the crowd will be to win the match. Despite Taylor’s awesome comeback last week however, few would bet against a win for the man known as Jackpot this week.


42.sportfeature

Monday 13 February 2012

The Courier

England’s Italian job finally stalls COMMENT

By Charlie Scott Eight hours after Harry Redknapp was cleared of two charges of tax evasion on Wednesday, the England manager Fabio Capello resigned. The timely coincidence of the two events cannot be ignored. Capello, whose contract was set to expire following this summer’s Euro 2012 tournament, was unlikely to stay on after the tournament with the FA unwilling to renew his deal in the wake of the public outcry for an English or British manager. In other words, Harry Redknapp or Martin O’Neill. Had Redknapp been found guilty last week, the FA would have had no choice but to reject any application he made for the England manager position at any point, be it now or after Euro 2012 had the Italian hung around until then. Instead, Redknapp is free to pursue the job that the national papers, and even some of the players in the England squad, are demanding he is offered. The explicit fawning over Redknapp is such that it appears the FA has little choice but to offer him the job, a situation that will disappoint Tottenham fans across the country. Capello resigned on Wednesday following the FA board’s decision to bypass the Italian when choosing to strip John Terry of the England cap-

taincy ahead of his court appearance in July for alleged racist abuse of Anton Ferdinand, the QPR defender and younger brother of John’s England teammate Rio. Though Capello’s desire to keep Terry as captain for this summer’s tournament is slightly troubling, his resignation in the wake of the FA’s undermining of both his position and opinion is far from surprising. The Italian has had to deal with, in terms of team morale, some of the most volatile players the England set-up has ever seen, with Terry causing rifts on a number of occasions and Wayne Rooney pretty much single-handedly ruining England’s chances at the 2010 World Cup following his long-term, and after the tournament much-publicised, affair with a prostitute. Despite somehow managing not to learn fluent English in his three years as manager of the national team, Capello got things right on the pitch, at least in qualifying. He won 28 matches, lost six and drew eight; a record that gives him a 67 per cent success rate, which is 6% more than that of the 1966 World Cup-winning manager Alf Ramsey. Two years ago in South Africa, when Capello had the opportunity to emulate Ramsey’s success, he was confronted by an alarming amalgamation of misfortune. Rooney’s mind was clearly elsewhere, resulting in some impotent performances in front of goal that clearly conflicted with

his form off the pitch, while Robert Green displayed why he probably should be England’s fifth choice goalkeeper after all, and the linesman in the Germany game forgot to go to Specsavers. Since that tournament he has adhered to the clamouring of the public and the media by introducing a new batch of young players into the England fold, including Phil Jones, Danny Welbeck, Kyle Walker and Jack Wilshere, while phasing out some of the older figures like David James, Frank Lampard and Rio Ferdinand. After the FA decided to strip John Terry of the England captaincy this month, Fabio gave an interview to an Italian journalist claiming he was not consulted as part of this process and would contest their decision. It is telling that such an interview was conducted in his native tongue, further emphasising his disdain and mistrust of the English press. One thing is clear: following the FA’s decision to go over his head by removing Terry as captain and his subsequent interview with the Italian media, his position as England manager had become untenable and his dismissal, or resignation, however you put it, had become more of an inevitability than a possibility. Capello will move on, just like he always has, and despite his England career being considered a failure by some, he is still one of the most highly-rated club managers in the

world and with both the Milan clubs far from happy with their respective managers, he may find himself back in work even before the summer. The England national team and Capello was never a match made in heaven. The combination of an unmanageable squad, a meddling FA board, and his own lack of enthusi-

asm for the job, epitomised by him not learning fluent English, created a desire amongst everyone involved for the relationship to end. The debacle surrounding the England captaincy actually gave both sides what they wanted: the opportunity to force the manager’s departure though sooner rather than later.

game’ is very much alive, and turning it ugly. In this country, football started off as a game founded, played and supported by working-class gentlemen. Fast forward over a hundred years and it is now sadly dominated by business tycoons and avaricious players. Footballers are getting paid more and more, with the average weekly salary of a top player equivalent to that of the average working man’s annual salary. Also, with the phenomena of Twitter really taking hold, I am now, unfortunately, more aware of Joey Barton’s view of TOWIE and Wayne Rooney’s

hair transplant progress than their performance on the pitch. Long gone are the days when a player’s status is determined solely by his ability to play the game at the highest level. Take David Beckham for example: I admire him just as much as the next person, but Beckham’s iconography is mainly down to his image and not his footballing prowess. I can appreciate that he has a mean right foot, yet let’s face the facts; his move to LA Galaxy was not based exclusively on his talent. Commercialisation is gradually

eroding the very essence of sport. Even the Olympic Games, the ultimate sporting event, which originated as a platform for amateur sport, can now be seen as a hallmark of commercialism and greed. The Olympic ideal has been tarnished by the consumer world; television companies and corporate sponsors are paying out fortunes for rights to the event, and in doing so are turning the games into a circus of over-marketing. One of the International Olympic Committee’s guiding principles is the prevention of the ‘commercial abuse of sport or

athletes’. However, the IOC is fully engaged in taking up to a billion dollars in sponsorship every four year cycle from companies such as MacDonald’s: possibly the most recognised emblem of globalisation. In anticipation of this summer’s Olympics in London, tickets for the women’s beach volleyball event were some of the fastest to sell out. An obscure sport, not exactly widely played on the beachfronts of Blackpool or Weston-Super-Mare, has now become the hot ticket of the games. Considering the high tempo music and scantily clad women, it resembles a glorified beach-party more than an Olympic event. Are people turning up to watch the skill on display or for the opportunity to stare pruriently at the customary choice of minimal clothing? There is no doubt that the women taking part are incredibly talented athletes, but I cannot help think that the hedonistic and ‘sexy’ branding and commercialisation of the sport has eroded away any interest that may have existed for the actual technicalities of the game. Most tellingly, the end of the Super Bowl witnessed the victorious New York Giants celebrating in exaltation; these celebrations were interrupted for the quarterback, Eli Manning, to be presented with a Chevrolet convertible. Manning seemed disinterested in his new gleaming sports car and quickly returned to toasting the success of the hard work of his team. This is the attitude all people involved in sport should follow: disregard for money and celebrity status, and passion for success and competition.

Cappello’s resignation leaves the door wide open for Harry Redknapp Photography: Getty Images

Fans have ad enough of sporting sell outs COMMENT By Lucy Williams

The Super Bowl: a time of year when American football fans should be on the edge of their seats, yet instead the pinnacle of the American sporting calendar has been transformed into a commercial rigmarole. What is supposed to be a game of four 15 minute quarters was turned into a marathon of advertising with the game from start to finish lasting around four hours. The event of the Super Bowl supersedes the very game itself and the audience is left wondering whether they are watching a sporting game or a continuous stream of commercial advertisements interrupted by a game of American football every now and again. What’s more, the extensive halftime ‘entertainment’ from Madonna doubled the length of half time, which probably caused the momentum and vigour of the players to be drowned by the wails of ‘Like a Prayer’ and ‘Vogue’. It seemed that the NFL had once more turned a blind eye to the good of the game in favour of yet more profit and glamour. The Super Bowl is the most watched television show in US history with a guaranteed audience of over 100 million each year. The NFL is hardly the poorest kid on the block, yet they further insist on draining more money from the devoted fan to further their materialistic cause. Commercialisation is seen as a predominantly American-based trend. However, we only have to look at Britain’s national sport of football to see that commercialism in the ‘beautiful

Eli Manning celebrates New York Giants Super Bowl victory at Disneyland Photography: Getty Images


The Courier

sportfeature.43

Monday 13 February 2012

The life and times of a wheeler dealer

Charlie Scott imagines what the next few months have in store for Harry Redknapp A week ago, Harry Redknapp, the darling of the English press, looked to be facing a jail sentence following a five year investigation that resulted in two charges of cheating the public revenue of over £189,000. On Tuesday the jury found him not guilty and dear old Harry has now been cleared of tax evasion. Now that his “nightmare” is over Harry is free to return to managing Tottenham Hotspur whilst also continuing his flirtations with the FA, particularly following Fabio Capello’s resignation as England manager on Wednesday. The following is an exclusive view into Harry’s subconscious as the Tottenham manager heads into some career-defining months…

Saturday 11th February 2012

Following a resounding 3-0 victory over Newcastle United in his first game back at Spurs following his acquittal, Redknapp speaks candidly to the press from a window on the Spurs team bus about his recent time in court, and his plans for the rest of the season: “Well, you know, it’s been a tough few years for me and Sandro, I mean Sandra, and we’re just glad to be able to live our lives again. I’ve been taking Rosie [his now infamous dog] out for walks two or three times a day and Joe [Jordan] and Kevin [Bond]* have been taking it in turns to keep an eye on me.” *Tottenham’s coaching staff

5th March 2012

Redknapp speaks to journalists from his Land Rover on his way out of the Spurs training ground about the rumours claiming he is close to leaving Spurs to take over as England manager.

“I don’t know where you boys get all this from. I’m as happy as Harry here and I’m looking forward to working with the lads well into the future.”

6th March 2012

The worst kept secret in English sport is made public as Harry is appointed England manager in a surprise news conference at Wembley. His first meeting with the press is unsurprisingly cliché-ridden. “Obviously this is a massive shock. I literally had no idea until last night that I was even being considered. It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity that I couldn’t turn down. There’s a big space in my heart for Spurs but at the end of the day, this is the biggest job of my career, and it was a real game-changer when I was told I could appoint my own coaching staff. Daniel Levy [the Spurs chairman] has been of a different class throughout negotiations, and he’s kind of given me his blessing.”

14th April 2012

Redknapp is seen selling spare tyres from the boot of his Land Rover outside the FA offices at Wembley. When confronted by the press, Redknapp again shrugs off his ‘wheeler dealer’ moniker saying, “I’ve missed making day-to-day transactions since I left Spurs.”

10th May 2012

Redknapp names England squad comprising solely of players he has managed at club level, justifying his choices by claiming “I know I can trust these boys. They can do the job for me”. David Nugent’s inclusion is met by some sniggering in the pressroom to which Harry smartly replies: “One cap, one goal. Statistics.”

12th May 2012

Days after naming his squad ‘Arry tells the waiting press about the FA’s late efforts to sign Gareth Bale and Aaron Ramsey from Wales in time for them to be included in his squad for Euro 2012. “David Bernstein was up late last night, and he gave me a ring at about 11, 11.30 telling me he had a couple of exciting possibilities lined up. I thought he meant he was finally going to let me play Jamie [Redknapp] in centre-mid but it turns out he’d been over in Cardiff trying to sort a deal for Gareth and Aaron. Of course they’re both t’riffic lads and everyone knows I would have loved to have them here. They would have added that little bit of quality to the squad but unfortunately the window shut before we could do a deal.”

3rd June 2012

After being disappointed by Darren Bent’s finishing in training Harry appoints his wife, Sandra, as England’s new finishing coach, following his claim back in 2009 that “my missus could have scored that” after Bent missed a chance while playing under Redknapp at Spurs. “I’ve said to the lad in training, he’s got all the attributes, but he’s got to work on his finishing if he wants to play in this team. Sandra has kindly offered to help.”

11th June 2012

‘Arry goes out drinking with every English journalist associated with the England camp, (and Joe Jordan and Kevin Bond), after receiving an immediate knighthood following England’s nail-biting 5-4 win against France. David Nugent scores four of England’s goals, from a combined dis-

Back of the net Video of the week

Testing times

Exactly what it says in the title - Adrian Lewis announces himself with a blind 180 in the 2005 World Championships

Spot the ball

1)Ian Rush, 39; 2) Phil Taylor, 9; 3) Manchester City; 4) Courtney Walsh; 5) Abel Xavier, 2.

Adrian Lewis hits blind 180

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U8MArgBgMxY

1.) Who has scored the most post-war FA Cup goals? 2.) Who has thrown the most televised nine-dart finishes in history? 3.) Which is the only Premier League side not to have assigned the number one shirt to a player for the 2011/12 season? 4.) Which West Indian cricketer holds the record for most ever test match ducks? 5.) Out of players with a surname beginning with X, who has the most ever Premier League goals?

This week in sport

University Sport: 1993: Newcastle put in a credible performance at the British Students Cross-Country Championship in Glasgow, but Northumbria were hampered after their minibus was involved in a road accident on the way.

A

B C

E

F

D G H

Guess which ball is real and send your answer to courier.sport@ncl.ac.uk to enter a draw to win a £5 Mens Bar voucher.

Intra Mural: 2007: Missing key player ‘Goldthorpe’ to Valentine’s Day commitments, Fluffy Wilson goalkeeper Kristian Brookes (now playing for Newcastle Medics 1sts) was unable to prevent his side from losing 9-3 to Chelski. The latter’s win set up a title decider with Pro Evo Panthers for the following week. World: 1990: Michael Jordan’s iconic number 23 jersey is stolen from the dressing room prior to the Bulls 135-129 defeat by Orlando Magic.

Photo: Getty Images

tance of three yards, with Frank Lampard getting the other courtesy of a massive deflection.

20th June 2012

After draws against Sweden and Ukraine, Redknapp quits England be-

cause he believes they have failed to qualify, despite them finishing in second place in Group D. Before anyone can tell him otherwise, he is remarkably named dual manager of both Southampton and Portsmouth.

Tweet of the week

-@GaryLineker_ to @piersmorgan Piers Morgan, one of the most irritating ‘celebrities’ on Twitter, engaged in some heated exchanges with Gary Lineker during the week. Lineker’s response is wonderful:

PM: ‘@GaryLineker_ I currently air in 200 countries/territories – how you getting on? #SmallPondMinnow’ GL: ‘@piersmorgan I think the 2 world cups I played in probably edged that’ Owned, I think is the phrase.

Birthday Week 16 Feb 1973: Cathy Freeman Australia former Olympic champion over 400m. Produced one of the most iconic sporting moments of our generation when she won gold at the Sydney Olympics in 2000. 16 Feb 1959: John McEnroe You cannot be serious!? I am, it is indeed the former world number one tennis player’s birthday on Friday. 17 Feb 1982: Adriano Brazilian footballer. The portly striker will be unable to celebrate his Birthday in style this year having been put under house arrest by his club Corinthians as they look to help him to shed a stone or two.


44.sportintramural

The Secret Intra Mural Footballernt

ta s i s s A er g a n Ma

#11 Virtual work experience

I made my assistant managerial debut last week amidst a hailstorm of both hail and contentious refereeing decisions as the story of our season repeated itself as a strong first half display was undone by an impotent performance in the second half. Despite suffering the ignominy of defeat in my first game I feel confident that our side has both the talent and drive to save our season with just two league games left. While in reality I am a novice, in the virtual world of football management I was once described by my parents as ‘an addict’ and ‘more concerned about that game than my A-levels’. ‘That game’ in question was the hugely successful time I spent as manager of Leeds United on Championship Manager 2001-02, that at one point saw the Yorkshire club crowned both Premier League and Champions League winners seven years on the bounce with me at the helm. Not even Ken Bates could get in my way as I led Leeds to the top of world football using a combination of the virtual talents of the Portuguese goal machine To Madeira and the wildly exaggerated abilities of the midfielders Tonton Zola Moukoko and Falkirk’s Mark Kerr. Friends told me I should take coaching badges and apply for lower level management jobs such was my devotion to The Whites. Alas, my parents then confiscated all of my football management games as my A-level exam period approached, and my obsession was temporarily defused. A brief return as manager of Barcelona on Football Manager 2005 was cruelly ended by a computer virus that left me disillusioned with both the game, and my shitty Acer laptop. My first ‘real’ job has started with defeat but I intend to make my feelings felt to the manager regarding team selection and our chosen formation. There are two games left that will decide our season. The team is currently divided as to our best playing style, my opinion, like a certain Brian Clough, is that: “if God had wanted us to play football in the clouds, he’d have put grass up there”. The majority of our players are nearing the end of their degrees and rumours have leaked into the dressing room that should we get relegated this season, the owners may even consider dissolving the club. There is far more than just a few points at stake.

The Courier

Monday 13 February 2012

INTRA MURAL IN BRIEF

Ninjas stay top as league gets back under way

were able to beat the Leazes Ladies by two goals. Net Assets continue to put pressure on Mansoc, fighting for second place after a 10-9 victory over Agrics B. Most surprising of all was the match between Uni Hockey and Biology. Uni Hockey have been dominating the 4-5pm league, consistently winning most of their matches but this week Biology showed them that everything was still to play for by beating the girls 16-12. In the 5-6pm league, CHS move up to fourth place after the History Girls were unable to produce a team and were forced to forfeit their match, therefore giving CHS a 15-0 victory. NUSSC also conceded a 15-0 victory to Agrics, which keeps the former in sixth place. At the other end of the table it is the Netball Ninjas who everyone needs to watch as they continue to dominate the league, securing their top spot with a 22-5 defeat over Chem Eng.

NETBALL

By Sarah Addison A big sigh of relief was felt by all teams in the Intra Mural Netball league as they received confirmation that matches would take place this week, having seen their previous two fixtures called off. All teams turned up eager to play, with many hoping to maintain their good form and others wanting to turn things around. CHS turned up modelling t h e i r brand new kit and ensured RRE remained bottom of the 4-5pm league, with them still failing to put any points to their name. However, having only suffered an 8-2 loss it seems that their run of massive defeats before Christmas could have to come to a startling halt. In other matches, Mansoc struggled to secure their second place league position after a competitive match against the Leazes Ladies. However, perseverance prevailed and Mansoc

RUGBY UNION The widespread fixture cancellations mean that the showpiece fixture of the Intra Mural Rugby Union league fixture has had to be rearranged once again. After the original tie was cancelled due to a shortage of pitches in November, the two teams still boast-

ing 100% records - Armstrong and defending champions Titans - must wait another few weeks before putting their unbeaten records on the line. By that time, Armstrong could well have sealed the league title, because despite both teams having seven wins from their opening seven matches, Armstrong have acquired five extra bonus points, meaning Titans are dependent on them dropping points in their other re-arranged fixture against fourth-placed Southern Fairies to stand a chance of pipping them to the title. There is even a possibility that Titans could finish the season with a 100% record but still miss out on the title on bonus points. Armstrong must first turn their attentions to the cup however, as they are due to take on bottom of the league Medics on Wednesday, providing that the pitches at Cochrane Park thaw out in time. The other scheduled cup match sees Southern Fairies and Larrikins compete for a place in the quarter-finals where the winner will meet Agrics 1.

in Group B, where table-topping The Gunners failed to cope with an early morning start at Longbenton as they succumbed to a 2-0 defeat against Toon Raiders. It is only the second time that Toon Raiders have had a completed fixture this season, and their two victories put them second in the league table, just one point behind The Gunners.

SATURDAY FOOTBALL Despite being replaced as manager and dropped from their Wednesday team, Barca Law Na’s Josh Cryer is continuing to play for them on a Saturday as he awaits his trial for the alleged racist abuse of TalkSPORT host Stan Collymore. Their former manager has helped them to successive 4-1 victories over NUSSC and Dyslexic Untied as the Lawyers have pulled away from the relegation spots and finally started replicating the form that they have been showing in the Wednesday competition.

MIXED HOCKEY

The Courier Online

While Group A has so far succumbed to the bad weather and is yet to resume after the Christmas break, one fixture managed to beat the big freeze

For exclusive match reports from the Saturday football see thecourieronline.co.uk/sport

League Tables Wednesday 11-a-side Football

Division 3

Division 2

Division 1 Team

Pld

W

D

L

F

A

Pts

1

Barca Law Na

8

7

0

1

36

5

21

2

Henderson Hall

9

7

0

2

33

18

21

3

Newcastle Medics 1sts

6

3

2

1

19

9

11

4

Dyslexic Untied

7

3

1

3

18

18

10

Team

Pld

W

D

L

F

A

Pts

Team

Pld

W

D

L

F

A

1

Newcastle Medics 2nds

8

7

1

0

29

6

22

1

Roman Villa FC

9

9

0

0

36

4

27

2

Lokomotiv

8

6

1

1

41

21

19

2

Politic Thistle

8

6

0

2

22

16

18

3

Ecosoccer

9

6

0

3

39

24

18

3

Shakhtar FC

10

4

1

5

16

16

13

4

Boroussia Forsyth

8

6

0

2

21

13

18

4

Brown Magic FC

8

3

1

4

25

19

10

5

The Hurricanes

8

3

1

4

25

24

10

5

Jesmondino FC

8

3

0

5

14

20

9

6

Boca Seniors

10

3

0

7

29

33

9

6

NCL Galacticos

7

3

0

4

15

24

9

Pts

5

Crayola

8

3

0

5

12

15

9

7

Newhist FC

9

1

1

7

13

39

4

7

Combined Honours

9

3

0

6

13

22

9

6

Aftermath

9

2

0

7

9

38

6

8

Ar U Shavin A Laugh

10

1

0

9

15

52

3

8

Newcastle Dynamos

9

2

0

7

17

37

6

7

Castle Leazes

7

0

1

6

8

32

1

Top Goalscorers 11: Jamie Hurworth (Barca) 9: Chris McKee (Barca)

8: Daniel Rech (Crayola) 7: Dave Eccles (Aftermath) 7: Liam McAllister (Hendo)

P Aftermath Newcastle Medics 1sts P

Dyslexic Untied Castle Leazes

Crayola Barca Law Na

12: Zack Goddard (Ecosoccer) 11: Josh Batham (Ecosoccer)

P P

P P

11: Jake Wimshurst (Shavin) 10: Archie Norman (Forsyth) 8: Adam Duckworth (H’canes)

Ar U Shavin A Laugh The Hurricanes

P P

Lokomotiv Boroussia Forsyth

Ecosoccer Boca Seniors

P P

Newhist FC P Newcastle Medics 2nds P

P P

Netball

Rugby Union

4pm-5pm

Division 1 1

Top Goalscorers

Team

Pld

W

D

L

F

A

Pts

Armstrong

7

7

0

0

347

13

35

2

Titans

7

7

0

0

219

43

30

3

Agrics 1

9

6

1

2

176

107

29

Top Goalscorers

8: Rob Grady (Roman Villa) 8: Ollie Griffiths (Roman Villa) 8: Tom Islip (Roman Villa)

12: James Dunn (P Thistle) 8: Lewis Cockerill (B Magic)

Brown Magic NCL Galacticos

P P

Roman Villa FC Combined Honours

P P

Politic Thistle Newcastle Dynamos

P P

Shakhtar FC Jesmondino FC

P P

Mixed Hockey Group A

1

Uni Hockey

Intra Mural W D L F A round-up 9<<<<>>> 7 0 2 143 57

2

Mansoc

9

6

1

2

97

66

26

2

Larrikins

5

3

0

2

20

5

9

3

Net Assets

9

6

0

3

118

93

24

3

Oral Specialists

5

3

0

2

12

6

9

4

Biology Netball

9

5

2

2

100

84

24

4

Pink Panthers

5

3

0

2

7

16

9

Team

Pld

Pts

Team

Pld

W

D

L

F

A

Pts

28

1

Agrics

4

4

0

0

10

2

12

4

Southern Fairies

8

4

0

4

196

131

22

5

Larrikins

9

5

0

4

139

148

22

5

Leazes Ladies

9

5

0

4

93

90

20

5

BioSci Hockey Legends

4

2

0

2

10

5

6

6

Engines

7

4

0

3

111

104

18

6

CHS

9

3

1

5

85

95

14

6

MLS

3

1

0

2

4

9

3

7

Cheeky Ladies

8

3

1

4

152

164

18

7

Agrics B

9

1

2

6

71

108

8

7

Law School

3

1

0

2

3

10

3

8

Agrics 2

8

2

0

2

33

268

8

8

RRE

9

0

0

9

19

133

0

8

NUTS

5

0

0

5

3

16

0

9

New Uni Freshers

7

0

0

7

55

224

2

10

Medics

8

0

0

8

46

272

1

Agrics B Net Assets

9 10

Armstrong Titans

P P

Engines Agrics 2

P P

New Uni Freshers Medics

Wednesday’s Football Fixtures Castle Leazes vs Crayola Henderson Hall vs Barca Law Na Newcastle Medics 1sts vs Dyslexic Untied

Division Two

Boroussia Forsyth vs Ecosoccer Newcastle Medics 2nds vs Boca Seniors Newhist FC vs Ar U Shavin A Laugh The Hurricanes vs Lokomotiv

Division Three

Combined Honours vs Politic Thistle Jesmondino vs Newcastle Dynamos NCL Galacticos vs Roman Villa Shakhtar FC vs Brown Magic FC

Mansoc Leazes Ladies

2 8

8 6

Uni Hockey Biology Netball

12 16

5pm-6pm

*All fixtures subject to change. Kick off time 14:00 unless stated.

Division One

P P

RRE CHS

Cochrane Park 1 Close House 1 Longbenton 3G (15:45) Cochrane Park 3 Cochrane Park 2 Close House 2 Close House 4 Redhall Drive 5 Redhall Drive 4 Close House 5 Close House 3

Team

Pld

W

D

L

F

A

Pts

1

Netball Ninjas

8

8

0

0

121

51

32

2

Agrics

7

6

0

1

128

33

24

3

Polly’s Dollies

7

4

0

3

80

75

16

4

CHS

8

4

0

4

88

90

16

5

Chem Eng

8

3

0

5

57

83

12

6

NUSSC

8

2

0

6

39

93

8

7

The History Girls

8

0

0

8

23

111

0

Netball Ninjas Chem Eng

22 5

NUSSC Agrics

0 15

The History Girls CHS

0 15

Fixtures - Sunday 19 February Larrikins Agrics MLS Law School

vs vs vs vs

BioSci Hockey Legends Pink Panthers Oral Specialists NUTS

Longbenton Artificial - 09:30 Longbenton Artificial - 10:30 Longbenton Artificial - 11:30 Longbenton Artificial - 12:30

Group B Team

Pld

W

D

L

F

A

Pts

1

The Gunners

4

2

1

1

5

3

7

2

Toon Raiders

2

2

0

0

7

0

6

3

Green Sticks

3

1

2

0

6

2

5

4

NUSSC

3

1

2

0

2

1

5

5

Black Panthers

3

1

1

1

3

4

4

6

Mojoholics

2

0

0

2

1

4

0

7

Combined Honours

3

0

0

3

2

12

0

Toon Raiders The Gunners

2 0


The Courier

BUCSsport.45

Monday 13 February 2012

Manc secure double over Royals LADIES’ HOCKEY Manchester 1sts Newcastle 1sts

4 0

By Alice Hogg in MANCHESTER A very icy Wednesday morning saw the Ladies hockey first team make the arduous journey to Manchester to face their top-of-the-league opponents. Despite speculation that Keith and his coaches wouldn’t be able to handle the trans-Pennine trek, the team arrived at the Armitage site to find a worryingly frozen pitch to couple the notoriously cold changing rooms. Newcastle, not ones to travel all that way for nothing, agreed to start the game and seemed to surprise themselves with the impact they had upon the hosts. The play was definitely sluggish from both teams, as both took time to defrost and adapt to the skating ball across the hardened pitch. Manchester took to passing the ball continuously around the back, controlling possession but not actually making any progress towards the

Late win for Blades MEN’S FENCING York 2nds Newcastle 2nds

goal. They increased the pace of the game, running the ball dangerously towards the Newcastle ‘D’. A series of short corners for the home side were kept out by impressive work by ‘keeper Rachel Wilson and post players Milly Powers and Nicki Mollison. Newcastle continued to react to Manchester’s surge by breaking down play in the middle of the pitch and credit must go to Erika Coackley for her tireless tracking back. However despite the travelling teams’ best efforts, a scrap for the ball in the left hand corner allowed an unmarked Manchester player time to collect a ball across the ‘D’ and push it past the goalie just before the half-time whistle blew. A spirited half time chat unfortunately only appeared to affect the first five minutes of Newcastle’s second half. Attempting to make sure it wasn’t just stolen balls that Newcastle came away with. Laura Moore flew, and comically missed a crossed ball from Liz Shedden in front of the Manchester goal a few minutes in. Manchester, not keen for any more near misses, began dominating the match and despite several composed

clearances off the line by left back Susanne Hill-Wright, the home side were rewarded with a series of short corners. Two of these were duly converted into goals and as a result Newcastle’s heads began to drop and a now

WATER POLO

the final quarter and it went from bad to worse for Newcastle. Despite the best efforts of McDowall, who got her name on the scoresheet for the Royals, the Scots got six of their own finishing the game 14-3. This was clearly a very disappointing result for Newcastle as a victory over Edinburgh continues to elude them. However, an honourable second place in the first division left captain and coach content and puts Newcastle through to the BUCS semi-finals round robin in Leeds on the February 25 where they will come up against the likes of Birmingham, Leeds and Cardiff.

By Peter Stalley in YORK Boasting a strong record against York and buoyed by a comfortable victory against Leeds Met two weeks ago, Newcastle were confident of backto-back successes as they journeyed down the A1. As has been Newcastle’s preference all season, the match began with Sabre; David ‘Thumper’ Mallinson making his debut in the weapon. York started strongly, leading 15-8 after three bouts. Despite a heroic fight back from the swashbuckling Jonathan Land, York continued their strong performance and took the weapon 45-36. Foil was next on the menu with Newcastle starting the way York had in sabre, swiftly leading 20-12. In the next bout, York fought back to take the lead. This was short-lived however, thanks to the efforts of Alex ‘Yellow Badge’ Walchester Newcastle retook the lead and never lost it again, winning by a final score of 45-36. With both teams tied after two weapons, the Epee result became crucial. The match was neck and neck, with the lead changing hands continuously. At the start of the final bout, little separated the teams, with Newcastle leading 38-36. This led to a cautious tactical affair, with Newcastle running the clock down and York pushing to regain the lead. With 17 seconds remaining on the clock the score was 42-42. With five seconds of the match remaining York took the lead, only for George ‘Titanium Nerves’ Flewitt to level with only two seconds remaining. With the match heading to sudden death, George kept his cool, sprang forth like a cheetah on a trampoline and scored the decisive hit a split second before time was called.

CROSS COUNTRY By Andrew McClune

Despite heroic defensive work Newcastle endured a 4-0 loss Photo: Peter Campbell

Glasgow sunk by NUSWC By Tom Connolly

124 125

rampant Manchester added a fourth despite Olivia O’Malley’s impressive return from injury. Despite this loss, the team are no less spirited for next week’s match against LJMU, confident of getting back to winning ways.

Sunday saw the final game in the first round of the BUCS Water Polo for both the Ladies’ and Men’s teams. Both sides had a 100 per cent winning record in the league this year and a win against Edinburgh Firsts for the ladies and Glasgow Firsts for the men would see them top their respective groups. With a top two position and semi-finals places already secured for both it was a matter of whether they finished first or second, which would see the men promoted back into the first division.

Newcastle Womens 1sts Edinburgh Womens 1sts

3 14

The matches kicked off, at Northumbria Sports Centre, with the ladies taking on Edinburgh. With both sides unbeaten coming into the game, the position of league champions was up for grabs. The Royals’ record against the Scots has been poor in recent seasons so they approached the game apprehensively, but with confidence in their recent form. The first quarter got underway with an early goal for the visitors who then added a second as they capitalised on a sin bin for Kat McDowall. A third for the Scots saw them extend their lead before the end of the first quarter. National league player and club president Catherine Freeman got the Royals off the mark early in the second but the visitors swiftly hit back with two of their own before fresher Nikki Powley took advantage of a sin bin for the opposition. The quarter again finished with a goal for the visiting team giving them a 6-2 lead at half time. Frustration rose for the Royals as they again failed to take advantage of an Edinburgh sin binning and another goal for the visitors soon followed as captain and goalkeeper Emily Fairbrother was sent out. The lead was extended to 8-2 going into

NUAXC beat snow in Cardiff

Newcastle Mens 1sts Glasgow Mens 1sts

23 6

Eager to prove Newcastle’s worth against Scottish universities, the men’s team were pumped up for their BUCS clash against Glasgow. With a superb recent run of form, the Royals knew they had the ability to win it. A goal scoring frenzy ensued as the Royals ruled over their game with an air of arrogance. A crucial opener from Mark Gabrielle was followed by goals from Stephen Moulton, Alexis Georgiou, Ex-GB superstar Michael Grantham and, despite a recent shoulder injury, for which he sported a very fetching pink strapping, the ferocious captain Stuart Mac Manus could not be stopped from adding to the tally. Water Polo president, Tom Connolly, also struck gold following up his rebound giving the Royals an unassailable nine-goal lead after the first quarter. A degree of complacency snuck into their game in the second quarter allowing the visitors to get off the mark. BUCS debutant and fresher Ben Hughes’ Water Polo career began with a splash as he was sin binned early in the quarter giving the Scots chance to pull another goal back. The two sides went goal for goal until half-time from there on, with goals from Mac Manus and Grantham making it 12-5 at the break. A stern word from captain Mac

Manus brought the home side back on track with a hat-trick for Cypriot national league player Georgiou and one each for Mac Manus, Luke Watkins and Ralph Baker, who also managed to squander a vital double man up by sending the ball flying over the bar. Back on the front foot the Royals pushed on with Mac Manus and Grantham bagging two more each and Tom Duncan grabbed his first BUCS goal to make the final score 23-6, not before goalkeeper James Hillmen gave second string keeper Nathan Taylor something to think about. The ‘keeper tried to make it 24 in the dying seconds with a pool length shot but was denied by an excellent save by his opposite number. Man of the match went to veteran Luke Watkins, whose endless steals and offensive playmaking facilitated the team to a 17-goal winning margin. His one goal did not do him justice, however some eyebrows were raised by his relentless lobs, all of which connected with the woodwork.

BUCS IN BRIEF WOMEN’S RUGBY

Aberdeen forfeited their trophy match against Newcastle Firsts, which means that the Royals will face the winner of Dundee and St.Andrews in the quarter-finals. The two Scottish sides go head to head on Wednesday, while the quarter-final will be played at Cochrane Park next week.

BUCS LEAGUE TABLE 8 MANCHESTER 9 EDINBURGH 10 OXFORD 11 NEWCASTLE 12 BRISTOL 13 LEEDS 14 UWIC

1482 1473 1273 1212 1205.5 1137.5 1028

An eight-hour journey and two stops later, the University Cross Country team arrived in Cardiff for the BUCS Cross Country Championships and waited in anticipation to see if the rumours of snow the following day would become a reality. A light snow shower began to fall during breakfast, which looked to make for an interesting race. After driving around the streets of Cardiff to end up in what looked like an industrial estate, the team arrived at the Sports Centre to be greeted by a bagpiper from Edinburgh University. A short walk to the start line produced unfavourable conditions, with frozen ground and the beginning of a blizzard. The flat, wooded course made for a quick race with 318 runners in the Men’s 10.6km A race. The race featured some famous faces, with GB international Jonny Hay of Birmingham University taking the gold medal in a time of 30.02, and GB triathlete Jonny Brownlee claiming 5th place. The first home for Newcastle University was Jack Neeson in 34:39 followed by Joseph Turner in 35:32. Seb Bodger (36:01) and Sparrow Morley (36:15) concluded the top four Newcastle finishers and helped the team finish 33rd out of 53, higher than local universities such as the Poly and Sunderland. Joe Wales (37:29) and Andrew McClune (37:40) made up the rest of the Newcastle pack. Women’s 7.4km race followed shortly after, which was again won by Birmingham University. Bobbi Philips finished first for Team Newcastle in 26:36 breaking into the top 50 of the 347 strong pack. Rosie Tarbuck and Jo Armstead were not far behind in 27:04 and 27:36 respectively to complete the Women’s A team and both break into the top 100. The Women’s A team finished 19th out of 99 teams. Charlotte Christensen and Bex Lambson also broke the top 100 and helped the Women’s B team to 31st alongside Bella Murray. The Women’s A, B and C teams, made up of Emma Williams, Carolina Golding and Suzi Spencer, managed to beat the Northumbria Women’s team. Strong finishes were also seen from Rebecca Rigby, as well as Lauren Barr and Kirstin HalleyHogg, who were both running their first cross-country race. The final race of the day saw 3 competitors from Newcastle take on the 8.1km Men’s B race, which was dominated by St Mary’s College. Tim Davies made it over the line first for Newcastle narrowly missing out on the half hour mark finishing in 30:16. A closely fought battle occurred before Martin Holley (31:30) narrowly finished just ahead of Douglas Tickner (31:39) to claim bragging rights. The team celebrated in style after the race, at a fantastic after-party hosted by Cardiff Students Union. With the revised training plan beginning to be implemented and some strong finishes, things are looking good in the preparation for the final, and quite possibly the biggest event of the NUAXC Cross Country calendar, Stan Calvert.


46.sportBUCS

Monday 13 February 2012

The Courier

Valiant knights fall on own

Suspect refereeing helps UCLAN to league victory over helpl MEN’S BASKETBALL

Newcastle 1sts UCLAN 1sts

70 93

By Grace Harvey at SPORTS CENTRE Newcastle Basketball Firsts were party to an almighty showdown last week against UCLAN, the Knights suffering a disappointing 70-93 loss. Heading into the match, Newcastle were sat one place behind UCLAN in the league and with half the team injured on the bench it certainly proved to be one of the toughest and most frustrating matches of the BUCS season so far. The Knights seized all their opportunities to steal early points and within seconds Andrew Ply put Newcastle straight onto the scoreboard with a clean and effortless shot. Making good use of clear space, Ben Peleg moved a quick pass over to Chalkidis who contributed more points to Newcastle’s lead before Giannis Giokaris waded in to increase Newcastle’s advantage. UCLAN started to challenge but couldn’t quite keep up with Newcastle’s opening speed. Ply and Giokaris continued to sink clean three-pointers, efficiently giving Newcastle a slight advantage that lasted throughout most of the first quarter. From this point on, however, the match became a blur of endless UCLAN substitutions and unnecessary penalties allowing the visitors to slowly rein in the Knights’ lead. At times it wasn’t always clear what sport the referee thought he was officiating, with multiple contentious calls in UCLAN’s favour. These constant substitutions were a subtle and shrewd tactic from UCLAN but ultimately proved successful. The quick sprints of each

player made their attacks hard to predict and eventually wore the hosts out and, clearly frustrated, the Knights’ lead swiftly deteriorated to a half-time deficit of 30-44. After a seemingly stern pep talk from coach Ian Hewitt, Newcastle exploded back onto the court, re-establishing their campaign. UCLAN’s attempt to run away with the points was stalled by a strong attack from Newcastle yet every response made by the Knights was met by greater speed and strength with what seemed like a constant flow of points from both teams. Newcastle managed to reduce the deficit due to a sudden burst of energy from Ben Kleim alongside Ply and Giokaris. The lead was soon reextended by the visitors though, who succeeded in moving the ball with agility and precision denying the hosts any possession. UCLAN played wide, making full use of the court and forcing Newcastle to construct a tight defence, limiting their ability to effectively move the ball around or create opportunities to score points. Despite facing an uphill battle, the Knights looked as if a late comeback might be on the cards following another stream of agile dunks from Chalkidis, Giokaris and Kleim which took the score to 55-71 with the final quarter still left to play. When Newcastle looked to be reining in the visitors, UCLAN stretched their lead and even Nik Yii’s final three-pointer was not enough. Despite their late fight back and refusal to relent, the Knights were forced to concede a 70-93 loss. Whilst not an ideal finish for a team so accustomed to dominating, UCLAN played hard and took advantage of unwarranted penalties, which effectively sealed the deal and denied Newcastle an honest match.

Climbers scale new heights CLIMBING

By Olivia Mason

Saturday 4 February saw Newcastle’s bouldering wall, Climb Newcastle, play host to the first ever North East Universities Climbing Championships (NEUCC). This was an event described as ‘a fun and friendly interuniversity climbing competition with a dark serious side for those that are into it’ and it proved to be exactly that. The result was a fun gathering of student types there to try some nice bouldering problems, eat greasy chips and start a bit of climbing rivalry. The event hopes to become an annual one that provides a regional interuniversity competition for University clubs and members to aid in preparation for the BUCS competition held in March every year. NEUCC was arranged in partnership with members of Newcastle University Mountaineering Club, Sport Central, the Northumbria University Sports Centre, Chris Graham of Climb Newcastle, and climbing clubs at the other North East universities. Among the clubs in attendance were

Newcastle University, Northumbria University, Durham University, Sunderland University and Teeside University, with even Hull and Strathclyde Universities making appearances. The event aimed to give clubs the opportunity to select their BUCS teams and for more casual climbers to practice under the same format used at the national event which only allows elite climbers to enter. The event itself consisted of 25 boulder problems which were set by Climb Newcastle staff. Within these 25 problems, there were nine easy climbs, eight medium climbs, and eight hard climbs allowing everyone a fair opportunity to take part. Each competitor got three goes at each problem, with 10 points awarded for a successful first attempt, seven for a successful second attempt, and four for success on the third attempt. All competitors were given three hours to try out the problems. Mirroring the BUCS national event, the format incorporated both an individual contest and a group one. Upon registering, every participant was entered automatically into the individual event. The teams then registered separately in mixed gender groups of three

people - either two girls and one guy or one girl and two guys - all of whom had to be from the same institution. Each university could enter as many teams as they wished. Amusing team names were encouraged and a bonus prize was awarded at the end to the best name. Other prizes included top female, top male, and top team. There was a trophy for each winner and prizes provided by the sponsors, as well as raffle prizes available. The event kicked off with registration at 2pm and a good student turn out from the North East universities, all keen to compete against one another for the first time. Then from 3pm to 6pm there was a mass rush of students on the wall tackling different the problems within the wide range of difficulties. The team event allowed players to pick problems that matched their strengths allowing the climbers to exploit their differences. The afternoon also provided the perfect opportunity for climbers from all the North East universities to meet in a friendly, relaxed atmosphere. The event hopes to create more links across the universities. After the three hours were up, there was a brief break while the results

were counted, creating tension in the wall. The judge for the event was Chris Graham of Climb Newcastle. Newcastle University triumphed, taking home nearly all the prizes and swamping the score board. With Nigel Callender from Newcastle University placing first in the male individual event and the team ‘Students Make Me Sick’ from Newcastle University winning the team event and the prize for best name! Winner of the female individual event was Harriet Ridley from Durham University. In the male event second and third places went to Andy Porter from Northumbria University and Bobby Gowdy from Sunderland University, while in the female individual event second place went to Sian Oakley and third to Hannah Croft, both from Newcastle University. In the team event, second prize went to ‘Lache La Bet’ from Durham University, and third to ‘16ft 9’ from Newcastle University. On the whole this was a successful event that saw more links created across university climbing clubs in the North East and also a chance for some friendly competition. Hopefully this one-off event that will become an annual one.

Newcastle 2nds hold off Leeds 3rds in tight encounter. Photography: Sam Tyson


The Courier

BUCSsport.47

Monday 13 February 2012

first win of the season sword Crucial reignites NUBC survival hopes ess knights

WOMEN’S BADMINTON Newcastle 1sts Sheffield Hallam 1sts

5 3

By Rory Brigstock-Barron at SPORTS CENTRE

Knights fall short despite late resurgence. Photography: Sam Tyson

Three dominant doubles displays helped Newcastle Women’s Badminton to their first win of the season, defeating a Sheffield Hallam side who sit directly above them in the Northern 1A division which greatly improves their chances of avoiding relegation. With the reverse fixture ending all square, the home side were targeting an elusive first win in this one and were boosted by the fact that Hallam had only travelled with one singles player. The away side, forced to forfeit two singles matches, handed Newcastle a 2-0 cushion which meant that three victories from the remaining six match-ups would see them close the gap to just two points on their fourthplaced opponents. The most competitive of the first round of matches saw Newcastle pair Chloe Yim and Rochio Osuna take on Hallam’s top partnership of Miranda Knight and Jasmin Lam. The first game of the tie started off brightly with Osuna showing great reactions at the net to keep the relentless Knight from dominating the game. However, it was not long before the Sheffield pairing had pulled away, smash after smash from Knight’s racket breaking through Yim and Osuna’s defences. The final shot of the game showed Knight’s class as she deftly placed the shuttle into the empty right court for the away side to take the first game 21-10. To their credit, Yim and Osuna refused to go down without a fight, and having trailed at the beginning of the second game, they soon brought the score back to 15-15. The lead changed hands from then on, until the first

match point was reached after a great kill from Lam for the Sheffield side. Inspired defending from Yim, however, eventually forced the mistake from Knight, leaving the game on a knife edge at 21-21. Despite a spirited fight from Yim and Osuna, the Hallam pair proved too consistent in the end, forcing Yim to hit in to the net to take the second game 23-21 and with it the match. Singles defeat for Newcastle’s Allison Craine against Chrissi Nettleton could have been disastrous for the home side but the Newcastle pairing of Kat Turner and Kirstin Miller made short work of Lizzie Helliwell and Rachel Crowder to leave Newcastle 3-2 up overall after the first round of matches. Despite being in the lead, Newcastle faced an uphill task in the second half of the tie with two doubles matches that they had come out second best in when the travelled to the steel city in October last year. The home pairing of Kat Turner and Chrissi Miller got off to a flying start in their tie against Miranda Knight and Jasmin Lam. Left-handed Turner looked deadly at the net, violently killing the first two points to give her and Miller an instant 2-0 advantage. Turner looked impressive throughout the game, executing a delightful service lob over Lam to make it 9-4 and putting herself and Miller 17-8 ahead with a beautifully floated shot across court that just caught the line. Knight and Lam made efforts to reduce the deficit but this was in vain as the home pairing took the first game 21-16. The Newcastle pair took the early initiative again in the second game, dominating their opponents to take a 9-4 lead. Turner and Miller could be forgiven for thinking the match was over, but the Hallam pairing had other ideas, fighting their way back into the match and occasionally aided by miscommunication from their opponents, they took the lead for the first

time in either game, 18-16. Unfortunately for Knight and Lam though, being behind on the scoreboard seemed to awaken the home duo from their brief slumber and after fighting their way back to 20-20, Turner and Miller closed it out, the latter executing a perfect drop shot to end a dramatic rally and take the victory 21-16, 22-20. A win on the adjacent court would guarantee Newcastle’s victory and Yim and Osuna, who seemed to have bounced back from their earlier defeat, were in ascendence. The pair took the feisty first game 21-11 and were ahead in the second against the dejected pairing of Helliwell and Crowder. Their dominance was so great that Lizzie Helliwell, Sheffield Hallam’s answer to Regina George, threw a hissy fit and began to question the integrity of the home side and the validity of their line calls. The rest of the New-

consistent and confident shooting of Hannah Swainson and Fiona Moss throughout the match. The Royals proved why they are top of the league, dominating in all areas of play. This convincing win bodes well for their remaining BUCS matches which must be won if the girls are to ensure promotion.

win. This was a fantastic result for the Royals with the whole team showing true grit to snatch the win and pull away from the rivals in their league.

castle squad were in agreement that these were mean girls but had to admit that Helliwell did have “nice legs”. Unfortunately for the visitors, Helliwell’s legs were not enough to turn the tie around and Yim and Osuna took the match 21-11, 21-11 to give Newcastle an unassailable 5-2 lead. Chrissi Nettleton saw off Jessica Wilkins in the remaining singles match to make the score slightly more respectable for the away side, but this did little to dampen Newcastle’s spirits as they basked in the glory of their first win of the season. Newcastle will be away from home in their next two fixtures but eyes are already firmly fixed on the home tie against Welsh side Bangor on who sit bottom of the table that takes place on 7 March. A win in this fixture could be enough to keep Newcastle in the division should Hallam fail to win their remaining three fixtures.

9

Won Newcastle’s Kirstin Miller smashes from the middle of the court. Photography: Moises Bedrossian

Clean sweep for netball teams NETBALL ROUND-UP By Fiona Moss

UCLAN 1sts Newcastle 1sts

20 58

Travelling down to Preston, Newcastle faced another must win match if they were to retain their position at the top of the table. Despite winning the toss, Newcastle conceded straight away; however, this did not deter the girls from their game plan and from then on they took the initiative, leading 13-6 by the end of the first quarter. Newcastle continued to play with skill and confidence going into the second quarter, with the solid defensive combination of captain Sally Burden and player of the match Mia Archer halting the UCLAN attack on numerous occasions. Quick movement down the court between Katie Rimmer and Jo Murnane saw the Royals maintain a fluidity in their play and at half time Newcastle led 29-11. The team’s dominance didn’t stop in the second half with Newcastle winning the third quarter, and similarly, the final quarter by 10 goals. The substantial goal difference reflected the

Newcastle 2nds Leeds 3rds

37 34

As the top two teams in the league, both Newcastle and Leeds knew that whoever came out on top would stand on pole position in the BUCS table, setting themselves up comfortably for the remainder of the season. Playing at home gave Newcastle a huge advantage, and they ensured that they made the most of it. Though the game saw random moments of panic and disorganisation, the effort both teams presented was commendable. Lauren Barnett and Helen Jones must be praised for their determination in defence which gave Newcastle a concrete foundation to build their win on. With the lead swinging from team to team, it was not until the closing minutes that Newcastle edged away to grasp the

Newcastle 3rds York St John 1sts

44 26

Despite an unprecedented late tip off, Newcastle kept their focus to achieve a solid win over York. It was an impressive and confident performance by the thirds, with the whole team performing well. In spite of a few minor errors, the girls led from the beginning, showing much improvement from their last match against York where they were only able to obtain a draw. The attack showed great skill with concise movement around the circle, whilst the shooters ensured the Royals maintained their considerable goal difference. The defence served up another sturdy performance, Charlotte Plumtree putting in a particularly impressive display, blocking her shooter out of the game and cutting down York’s attacking options. She was therefore named player of the match. An impressive performance from everyone where fitness, skill and

strength were all key factors in a win that shows just how strong a side the thirds have become.

Newcastle 4ths Leeds Trinity 1sts

44 40

Entering the match confidently, the fourths took hold of the lead from the start, despite the score remaining tight throughout. Leading the first quarter by two goals, Newcastle had the edge although they could not create a substantial lead. Regardless, they kept their focus and halted any Leeds advances. Philippa Shaw controlled the ball coming down court whilst providing strong passes into the shooters. Player of the match, Freya Cromarty, showed her reliable skills in defence, putting pressure on Leeds’ shooting and attacking play and forcing a number of interceptions. A solid team performance and a great win which was well deserved after a series of very close games where the fourths have been on the wrong side of a tight scoreline. Hopefully they can take confidence from this to finish the remainder of their BUCS matches this season successfully.


Sport

www.thecourieronline.co.uk Monday 13 February 2012 Issue 1244 Free

thecourieronline.co.uk/sport

Full house for netball girls p.47

Men’s Water Polo splash on through to semi finals

Ladies’ hockey, p.47

KEEPING TIGHT HOLD OF THE Struggling Scousers thrashed by NUWBC TOP

Knights drain ‘pool WOMEN’S BASKETBALL

Liverpool 1sts Newcastle 1sts

24 72

By Rosie Wowk at LIVERPOOL The match kicked off with a leap of faith, the tip being won by Newcastle who got the game underway at a quick pace. Early control of the scoreboard was grasped by the Knights as “Action” Jackson hit an open swishing jump-shot. The away team’s famous three-point shooter, Eglė Duleckytė, who has recently written a book about her success (£5.99, Penguin Books), found time in her busy schedule to knock down several uncontested threes but with a slight breakdown in their usually impenetrable defence, Newcastle allowed Liverpool’s number 12 to dramatically drive through the zone and force a lay-up. Liverpool’s score still lingering in the single figures, AA member, Inga Vareikaitė boosted the Knights point domination as she sunk numerous mid-range shots, the sluggish defence barely making an effort to block her attacks. The Knights danced off the court after having held the Scousers to just 4 points at the end of the first quarter. Street dancer, Alice ‘The Chin’ Holloway, started the quarter with a flying interception, instantly scaring off the opposition. With the defenders now quivering in their boots, Holloway easily manoeuvred some slick post moves adding to the already high tally

of points. Newcastle’s Lithuanian duo fooled Liverpool with a sneaky give and go at the end of an extremely fast break, immediately turning on the press to snatch a turn over and put up an easy bank shot. In a hopeless effort to attract some attention to her team, Liverpool’s number 12 lashed out again, this time on Newcastle’s beloved Ingy, allowing her to float two free-throws through the hoop. Back for her revenge, the next play showed Vareikaitė swooping in for a flying offensive rebound to let the hoop swallow yet more points for the away team. With the defence working hard to keep Liverpool’s score to a minimum, rebounds were secured by birthday girl Jacqui Fisher as she pushed away the home side with some ferocious box-outs. The first half of the game saw great all-round play with Newcastle leading the game 35-6. Even with a likely win on the cards, the Knights came out in the second half prepared to work hard to secure a large point difference. Fresher Rachel Mckee came straight out the blocks in the new half collecting some great rebounds, firing the ball up the other end of the court for some trouble-free attacks. Lack of concentration and pure knowledge of the game from the opposition left Duleckytė wide open to shoot several flawless three pointers. The ball was then easily intercepted as the frizzy-haired Scouse player used her bat arms to club the basketball from her team mate, giving the Knights the opportunity to run a

fast break, with a perfect finish from Magic Box owner, Leonie Smith. A base line shot from Action Jackson kept Newcastle in the zone and letting non-stop smiler Jess Porraz follow in her footsteps, adding another two at the end of the quarter. A win was now inevitable for the Knights so they used the final quarter to practice their man to man defence, ready for Birmingham in the semifinals. Liverpool didn’t know what hit them as they could barely hold on to possession due to the quick, tight defence. Newcastle players were being punched all over the court as Liverpool desperately tried to gain some authority in the last minutes. More steals from the quick-moving Newcastle players left Porraz wide open at the other end of the court as she snaked across the key for a right handed layup. A few atrocious referee decisions later, the away side pushed into their final plays as team giant, Rosie Wowk, was given an excellent inside pass as she stepped into a last minute post move. The whistle was blown and Newcastle left the court with an easy 72-24 win and high hopes as they look towards to some tough games towards the end of the season. Newcastle’s basketball coach “Stevie Wonder” was overwhelmed with the result and reflected later on the game. “A really professional and proficient performance. The preparation for the up-and-coming semi-final against Birmingham helped motivate and concentrate the players to completely pick Liverpool apart.”

CLIMBING, P46

Adrian Lewis on his hopes for the Premier League

Darts, p.41

The Courier 1244  

The Independent Voice of Newcastle Students

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