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Monday 13 February 2017 Issue 1344 Free

RAG Week 2017 Round-up, p.13

The Independent Voice of Newcastle Students


Est 1948


Our Fashions Editors on what to wear Find out whether La La Land is really worth making a song and dance about, p. 29 this February 14th, p. 18

RAG Week raises £5000 for charity By Jade Holroyd Editor

From 28 January - 3 February 2017, Newcastle University Students’ Union’s Raising and Giving (RAG) society hosted its annual RAG Week. RAG Week 2017 raised over £5,000 with this total marking RAG’s most successful fundraising week to date. All proceeds raised will be divided equally between six charities: Water for Kids, Anti-slavery International, Alzheimer’s Research UK, Mind, Great North Air Ambulance, and The Alan Shearer Foundation. The week was organised by RAG CoPresidents, Harry Young and Liam Day, Secretary, Samantha Ree, and Treasurer, Alice Nicholl. The majority of the money was raised through the week’s evening events which included a pub quiz, a barn dance, a talent show, the return of Take Me Out and new this year, a bingo event. Every evening event attracted large crowds, however Take Me Out proved to be a sell out. (See more on page 13)

RAG Week 2017 Organisers Image: @NUSUrag

Rugby Union Club back in action The club was suspended after hosting a large party in Jesmond By Valentina Egorova News Editor

At the end of January Newcastle University Rugby Union Club was suspended by the Athletic Union (AU) at Newcastle University Students’ Union (NUSU). The suspension occurred as a result of several complaints being made by local residents following a large party hosted by the club in Jesmond. In addition to the club’s suspension, all sportsmen involved were issued with an individual disciplinary fine. The decision to suspend the club was passed by the AU Executive and the Disciplinary Panel, which includes academic and administrative staff and three students appointed by the Students’ Union. Matthews explained that sanctions could be imposed by the AU when “the duty of care is broken”.

The AU lifted the suspension following the club’s co-operation

She said: “It would be the same with any sports club or society”. All decisions made by the AU have been supported by the University who are keen to protect their renowned reputation for the sport of rugby in the high education sector. The suspension was lifted on February 6 after the club complied with the newly made regulations decided by the AU. These regulations includes the removal of the central committee members who were in office when the party took place. Sophie Matthews, AU Officer said: “I am feeling pretty confident that they’ve put a lot of effort to try and regain themselves. They’ve created the welfare code of conduct; they’ve elected the welfare officer. They have been working really hard to get

back on track.” The party that provoked the initial ban was thrown on Devonshire Road, Jesmond, on November 2. It is thought that the party was in celebration of a run of victories. On November 2, the Rugby Union Club tweeted: “Huge day

President, Jack Taylor, said: “Whilst it was a shame to see the rugby club suspended following an antisocial behaviour incident, it was fantastic how quickly and efficiently they responded to our recommendations to ensure they were back playing as soon as possible. With the new measures in place I sincerely hope that similar situations can be avoided in the future.” Although the initial suspension has been lifted, the club will remain on a probation period for 12 months. All students breaching Newcastle University’s code of conduct face the disciplinary procedures. At the University, Anti-Social Behaviour and noise disturbances are dealt according to the Student Disciplinary Procedure. In accordance to the Student Disciplinary Procedure, reports that

“The suspension was lifted on February 6 after the club complied with the newly made regulations decided by the AU” for the club with 1s, 2s & 4s all winning at home. Big wins call for some mild celebration…”It has been reported that Police were called after noise complaints were made and bins were pushed over, with vomit on the street. Commenting on the incident, NUSU

Rugby Union Club remains on a 12 months probation period

do not involve external services, such as Northumbria Police or Newcastle City Council, tend to lead to an issued caution, which is only a cautionary advice. However, if reports are made to either the Police or the Council, the whole household in question usually receives a warning and an individual monetary disciplinary fine of £30 each. Furthermore, a second report or an incident involving multiple complaints from different parties might result in a final written warning and an individual fine of up to £200. Any further reports are likely to be referred to a Student Disciplinary Committee. The Student Disciplinary Committee are able to impose sanctions that could include: a compensation payment for the direct cost of reparations to the property, and suspension or expulsion from the University.




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Interview: Chris Day

Monday 13 February 2017

The Courier

Deputy Editors Ollie Burton & Daniel Robertson News Editors Liam Carson, Valentina Egorova, Louise Hall Kotryna Kairytė & Helena Vesty

Step up to the mark and lead your Union

Femsoc: Women in Activism



Love letters to the Editors


15 18 21 25 27 33

Blind Date:

Pheobe and Mark Unlikely style icon: Bridget Jones

Vamp up your V-Day with the perfect gift

Albumn Review: I see you TV Review: Sherlock Mythbusters: Can your heart really break?

2016/17 Sabbatical Officers Image: Newcastle University Students’ Union

By Lindsey Lockey Nominations are now open for the six sabbatical officer positions and parttime officer positions that represent students in the union, the university, locally and nationally. Any student can stand and choose a full-time, paid position or become a part-time (voluntary) officer to gain the essential skills and experience. Sabbatical officer positions are President, Education Officer, Welfare and Equality Officer, Activities Officer, Athletic Union Officer and Editor of the Courier. Part-time officers include Chair of Student Council, LGBT+ Officer and International Officer. More details and a full list of positions can be found at This is an ideal opportunity for students to kick start their career. Those that are successful in running for a sabbatical position have not only successfully found a paid full-time employment, they have gained the kind of

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 for more information.

experience they wouldn’t expect from a first job. Each sabbatical officer receives an annual salary of £18,940 and is a fulltime member of staff. Leading an organisation with a £4 million turnover and a registered charity puts officers in a great position, enables to develop skills in leadership and organisation and learn about finances, democracy, education, event management and a whole host of other skills. All officers, either full-time or parttime, gain experience of chairing meetings, leading campaigns, managing budgets, communicating and team building. It is once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that might enable students to start their career at the very top of the

ladder. Previous sabbatical officers have gone onto some fantastic careers, and most state that they would never have got to where they are without the experience of being a sabbatical officer. Ex-officers from the past ten years now have positions as Co-Producer for Sky Sports news, Assistant Director of Newcastle University Careers Service, HR Business Partner for Lloyds Banking Group, Management Consultant for Accenture, Radio presenter on BBC and Lincs FM and Deputy News Editor for ITV. When asked about their experience of being an AU Officer, one of the exofficers said: “Being a sabbatical officer helped enormously with breaking into the competitive sports industry. Unlike

“It is once-in-alifetime opportunity that might enable students to start their career at the very top of the ladder”

Editor Jade Holroyd Deputy Editors Ollie Burton and Daniel Robertson News Editors Liam Carson Valentina Egorova, Louise Hall, Kotryna Kairytė and Helena Vesty Comment Editors Jamie Cameron, Sinéad Corkett-Beirne and Sunil Nambiar Culture Editors Jack Oliver Parker and James McCoull Lifestyle Editors Ana Beretsos, Antonia Coleman-Harvey, Ruth Loeffler and Brooklyn Shakeshaft Ward Fashion Editors Liz Rosling, Izzi Watkins and Zofia Zwieglinska Beauty Editors Miranda Stoner, Ellie Trent and Ellen Walker Arts Editors Johnathan Hastings, Meg Holtom and Tamsin Rees Music Editors Sophie Ahmed, Serena Bhardwaj and Ben Grundy Film Editors Emma Allsopp, Zoë Godden and Simon Ramshaw TV Editors Luke Acton, Dominic Corrigan and Alison Scurfield Gaming Editors Errol Kerr, Jared Moore and Jordan Oloman Science Editors Matthew Byrne, Natalie Farmer and Ciara RitsonCourtney Sports Editors Lucy Brogden, Tom Shrimplin and James Sproston

other graduates I had real work experience of managing budgets, decision making and negotiation as well as dealing with senior influential university and external figures. “Being able to run an effective campaign and deliver on objectives set out in your manifesto gives you so much to talk about during interviews.” As sabbatical officers, students can make a difference to the university. Over the past two years, officers have ensured rent freezes for students, gained funding for increased security in Leazes Park, ensured the university would not introduce a ‘Fit to Sit’ policy and gained commitment for a future divestment from the fossil fuel industry. Nominations close at 10am on Friday 17th February 2017 and full details on how to run can be found at www.nusu. If you want to find out more about each role, go to https://www.nusu. or email who can even sort out some sabbatical work shadowing for you.

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

The Courier

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Monday 13 February 2017

There’s a name change coming to your Union bar By Hannah Frew At the start of Semester 2 a jot form was launched for suggestions for the Mens Bar name change. This launch follows the decision to change the name of Mens Bar as proposed by the 6 Sabbatical Officers, which was passed by Student Council in December last year. Newcastle University Students’ Union (NUSU) have now put it to the student body to come up with a suitable, sexy not sexist alternative. So far this has been advertised primarily on the NUSU website, in lecture shout outs and around campus. The suggestion box is available online via jot form on the NUSU website. Whilst, as NUSU notes on the website, the name ‘Mens Bar’ derives from the Latin ‘Mens agitat Molem’ (‘Mind controls Matter’) it is not particularly obvious. Most of the student population have not studied or do not study Latin. It is therefore easy to understand the possible misconceptions of the name. Olivia Wall, an active member of Newcastle University’s LGBT Society, is ambivalent over the change, however, she sees how it could be important. She recalled that the name allegedly deterred some international students from entering as they believed women were prohibited. Although I have not personally come across this sort of misogyny in there myself, I too assumed that the name Mens Bar was a relic of the same mentality

Leading the change, Education Officer, Chris Duddy Image: Newcastle University Students’ Union

of the Magdalene College undergraduates who revolted at the introduction of women into the Cambridge institution. In fact, this mentality did exist, to an extent, in the Newcastle University of the 1960s. A contemporaneous Courier article reported on ‘an invasion’ of women into the male-dominated bar that provoked a strong backlash from the dinosaurs, ahem, men of the bar.

“The decision to change the name of Mens Bar is a grassroots project, coined and chosen by the student body, for the student body”

Chris Duddy, NUSU’s Education Officer, sees this change as ‘incredibly positive’, citing the thorny history of Mensbar, when it was a male-only bar. Moreover, he points out that ‘Mens Agitat Molem’ was the motto of Armstrong College, when it was still tied to Durham University and is therefore no longer relevant today. In fact the original motto was ‘Agitat Bar’, Mens Bar being a ‘convenient retrofit’ for the like of

the 1960s clientele. So far, the jot form itself has garnered a good few hundred suggestions. Outside of this, the popular ‘Memecastle University’ Facebook page (@memecastleuniversity) has a couple of its own suggestions including ‘Meme Bar’ and ‘Trebs Bar’ in keeping with the Newcastle spirit. The decision to change the name of Mens Bar is a grassroots project, coined and chosen by the student body, for the student body. The crème de la crème of the suggestions will be shortlisted by Student Council. During the March elections, this shortlist of names will be released and put to a student referendum. As would be expected, the names must be enduring and have some significance to Newcastle University’s ethos. Fortunately, for Chris Duddy, this means that his flatmate’s contribution ‘Duddy’s beard is s***’ probably won’t make it. Unfortunately, this means that ‘Barry McBarface’ will likely neither be considered. The costs of this change do not look be too high. Since the only changes to the bar will be aesthetic - i.e. rebranding only - it is likely to be a relatively cost effective project, especially if it attracts more customers to the bar. This is predicted in the short term as the renamed bar will be relaunched to the public. Without the off-putting name, it is hoped that the bar will naturally attract more customers. Be sure to get voting in March!

Go Green Week 2017 to kick off on campus By Sophie Henderson

RenewCastle Society is hosting the UK’s largest week of student climate action Go Green Week to celebrate sustainability in all its possible forms. Run from February 13 to 17, the campaign is aimed to promote debate on a variety of global and environmental issues. Go Green Week 2017 is advocated by People and Planet University League the independent league table of UK universities assessed according to environmental and ethical performance - who recently ranked Newcastle University within the top ten for sustainability. Rebecca D’Andrea, RenewCastle Society president and ethics and sustainability rep, said: ‘Young people are openminded and care a lot about the world. “Increasing environmental consciousness among students can lead to an increased environmental consciousness in society. We are the future - once we finish university we have the possibility of fostering positive change in the world outside.” The programme has been carefully curated for students, featuring a series of daytime and evening events to encourage mass participation. Beginning with Vegan Bake Sale outside of NUSU, Monday is entitled “Join the Food Conversation” and aimed to prioritise the importance of food waste management. From Tuesday to Wednesday, Go Green Week shifts its focus to sustainable transport and recycling. An O’Brien Recycling Plant trip will be followed by a film screening of “This Changes Eve-

rything”, which considers the implications of climate change and what people can do to prevent it. Cultural sustainability takes central stage towards the end of the week, kicking off with Green People Festival. The event features both Vegetarian and Vegan food, SteBrew Beer and music - a pleasant and easy way to get involved in the celebration of sustainable development. The week concludes with banner painting, seed planting and a night out at the Ship Inn, a local Vegan pub in Ouseburn. Rosie McCann, an English Language student, planning on attending the event on Monday said: “As someone who carefully considers food choices, it’s exciting to know that many others on campus care just as much about these important issues.” D’Andrea provided some simple tips on how to be more sustainable: “Eat less meat and dairy products - it saves a lot of water and reduces greenhouse gases released into the environment. “Reduce, reuse, recycle, use charity shops and change your bank - the Coop is the best option, and they offer a student account now. Major banks invest a lot of money into the fossil fuel industry.” RenewCastle society aims to make a sustainable living the norm for student lifestyle at Newcastle: “It’s affordable, ethical and necessary and we have a massive opportunity as students to shape and steward future generations.” Head to for the full programme and more details on how to get involved.

“The campaign is aimed to promote debate on a variety of global and environmental issues”

Go Green Week 2016 Image: Renew Castle

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Monday 13 February 2017

The Courier

Newcastle University Vice Chancellor, Professor Chris Day Image: Newcastle University Press Office

Interview: Say Hello to your new Vice-Chancellor By Jade Holroyd Editor At the end of the 2016 calendar year, Newcastle University bid farewell to Chris Brink, Vice-Chancellor of the University since 2007. Brink’s successor, Professor Chris Day, took up the role of VC with effect from 1 January 2017. Prof Chris Day, one of the country’s leading medical academics, previously held the position of Pro-Vice-Chancellor (PVC) for the Faculty of Media Sciences at Newcastle University. Speaking exclusively to The Courier shortly after taking up his position in office, Prof Day discusses Brexit, Mental Health and University life. What was your University experience like? I went to Churchill College at Cambridge and it was really at the start of student diversity and widening participation, so you can imagine what that was like at an Oxbridge College that was, and continues to be, hammered for diversity. There’s the impression that it’s all white, rich kids from private schools. The reason I went to Cambridge was because Churchill College was one of the only early colleges that said ‘we have a problem here’. The College would send minibuses up to places in the North East and ask schools to fill them with kids who they thought were bright. These minibuses were sent to schools like mine that typically never sent anybody to Oxbridge. I read recently that some Students’ Unions are appointing specific Working Class Officers to help integration Nobody did that sort of thing for me and my generation and I felt completely lost when I first arrived. Everybody that I

met had been to Heaton or Harrow and I was there from North Shields comprehensive school. Do you think similar problems exist today within Universities? Definitely. The Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) is very hot on this; it’s one thing to have widening participation policies that increase the chances of a student from a low-income background or a disadvantaged group getting into University. But it’s important to look after these students when they actually arrive. Nobody was thinking of that in the late 1970s when I went to University. Most of the time they were just pleased that they had got a comprehensive, state school boy from North Shields into Cambridge. You were kind of just left there to swim, but luckily for me, I was a good footballer. I immediately went off and joined the University football team and from there I met a lot of people like me to go out drinking with. But, if I hadn’t of had the sport to fall back on, I would have really been like a fish out of water. What I’m hinting at is that Universities, either by choice or through things like the TEF metrics, are going to be forced to make sure that once a widening or an ethnic minority student begins at University, they are looked after. On a similar note, how much pressure do you think there is on the University, if any, on its European student body following Brexit? A degree at Newcastle might be more difficult to sell to European students for all the issues regarding Brexit that we are obviously aware of.

Brexit also places further pressures on our partnerships across the globe. But in fact, we have as many growing partnerships with the likes of China, Australia and the U.S., as we have in Europe . Following Brexit, you could argue that these partnerships are going to strengthen even more. You would hope that the collaborations and connections that we have in Europe continue, but it does place more

particular prejudices about Newcastle, believing it to be the ‘cold’ North, all built from ship-making and coalmining. Conversely somebody from say Frankfurt, just thinks of our University as the U.K. We have certain departments which are run by 60-70% of European staff. On June 24 last year, we received a large number of calls from these staff members when the result of Brexit was announced. More generally, can you see any parallels between your former student self and current students? Generally, student life doesn’t seem that much different. Actually, my observation is that students nowadays seem to work a lot harder. I get the impression that my generation went to University and thought that we would just get a degree and everything else would be fine. Whereas now, I get the impression that, going off the example of my two children and their friends, students have it in their heads that they must get a 1st class degree and work experience whilst at uni. Students seem to be much more focused on the end game and using their degrees as a core way to build their career. I went to University to grow up a bit and see what life away from home was really like. Do you think that the pressure of University life has led to a direct increase in Mental Health problems? Yes – I suspect that if my perception is correct, then of course you are going to end up with more students suffering from mental illnesses because they are absolutely driven and focused. The

“Whilst at University, definitely make the most of every opportunity that comes your way, whether it be academic, social or cultural. You’ll never have it as good in life as you have it when you’re at University” emphasis on our non-EU partnerships. We have a Newcastle University campus in Malaysia and a campus in Singapore. Hopefully International students, both inside and outside of the EU, as well as staff, continue to want to be a part of Newcastle University. You mentioned University staff, do you share any worries related to staffing following Brexit? We’re not actually as dependent upon EU students as other Universities, I think it’s more our staff. We have found it easier over the years to recruit from say Germany than from Cambridge. I think that South Easterners have a

pressurised student environment that now seems to be a part of our culture is bound to have downsides to it. As a University, I don’t know where we go from here in terms of Mental Health with students however I’m keen to take the issues very seriously. In my day it was a lot different with everybody trying to claim that they were dyslexic in order to get extra time in exams. I know that many Universities are very keen to ensure that all the problems that students are registering through PEC, are actually genuine. I think it’s a very good topic to discuss with the Sabbatical Officers in the near future to understand the student perspective. Finally, what piece of advice would you give to your former student self? Whilst at University, definitely make the most of every opportunity that comes your way, whether it be academic, social or cultural. You’ll never have it as good in life as you have it when you’re at University. I have no doubt that University is the best years of your life. I knew the minute that I got to University that the experience was going to be better than school and probably never as good as that again. Don’t pass up any chance to join a society or play for a sports club, or even taking that extra course in a new language. There are lots of quotes revolving around the idea that you always regret what you didn’t do. So yes, I think my piece of advice would be to grab every opportunity with both hands and maybe look back on a few mistakes you made, but at least you made them. Thank-you for taking the time to speak with The Courier. We wish you the very best of luck in your new position.

The Courier

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Monday 13 February 2017

All you have to do is ASK: support at University By Laura Higgins Newcastle University are proud to offer the Academic Skills Kit (ASK) to all undergraduate and postgraduate students. During their studies, it is likely that students will require academic support and guidance provided by one of the support teams at the university. As a result, the University aims to surround students with a network of support services. The library, Writing Development Centre and Student Wellbeing Services, have developed methods available to assist students with their work. As a universal website, it is hardly surprising that the ASK programme has been met by a wave of success. By incorporating a modern feel to the site, it has contributed to an impressive 5100 visits since the beginning of this academic year. Already students have commented on the helpfulness of the website for example a second year undergraduate student told The Courier that: “I just think it is really useful how you’ve got everything, you don’t need to go to each website.” Equally, this praise was mirrored by staff at the university whom claim that “this is a fantastic resource and one will I will be signposting students to.” The Writing Development Centre is particularly useful if a student requires specific analytical advice. From breaking down an essay question to tweaking a dissertation, the team provides first

hand advice as to how to tackle queries. Although they are not subject specialists and therefore cannot proofread factual content, they guide students in planning and structuring their assignments, develop their critical advice and reflect upon their previous feedback in order to make academic progress. Students are offered varying options, including a series of one-to-one tutorials, group workshops and writers’ workshops. On a more widespread scale, the library staff runs 24/7 academic support. Whether a student feels more comfortable communicating with a member of staff face to face or via social media, their questions are always answered. This could be help with finding relevant books, referencing correctly and seeking valuable research, the library staff are on hand to assist. If more specialist advice is required, for instance in the case of a dissertation thesis, students are able to book a one-to-one session with the Liaison Team whom are more than willing to follow up their concerns and go into more depth. Equally, if students require psychological or more personal support the ASK network can provide guidance. The Student Wellbeing Services, based on Level Two of King’s Gate, are the primary port of call if students require guidance regarding fees, accommodation, Study Abroad schemes and Visa Support. In the case of more unique enquiries,

“From breaking down an essay question to tweaking a dissertation, the team provides first hand advice as to how to tackle questions”

Robinson Library, home to the Writing Development Centre Image: Andrew Curtis

the staff desk will direct students to a more appropriate member of the support team. At the university there are multiple groups, including the Mental Health Team, which caters for emotional needs and general wellbeing, the Specialist Learning Team, the Disability Team and The Financial Support Team. Furthermore, for many students the ASK network is a comforting service around the exam season. The team of academic experts regularly offers students advice about how to organize their revision, answer the fundamental questions about the arrangement of the exam day including how long it lasts and where it is held and the importance of regular breaks. With a reassuring helpline, it is easier to overcome the stress and anxiety which often overwhelms students at the end of a busy semester. The Student Support Team also as-

sists students to effectively manage their time at university. Studying at university does not amount to consistent studying but an equilibrium which consists of work, socializing and managing personal responsibilities as an independent young adult. As well as attending compulsory lectures and seminars, it is essential to complete course reading and assignments which can sometimes be overwhelming. The student support team can help to relieve this feeling, for example, The Writing Development Centre implements strategies to aid procrastination woes and with prioritizing of workload, whilst the Specialist Learning Team help students to draft a work plan. Ultimately this will help students to create a structured daily work plan. Perhaps the most popular guidance sought from ASK is with regards to

referencing. As an exhausting and complex academic task, students often feel confused about the minefield of ways to cite their primary and secondary sources. Subsequently, it is useful to be able to receive first hand advice from academic staff. The Student Support Service generally promote their triadic steps of guidance. This includes taking note of your sources including page numbers and the date that you last accessed the source, not leaving it until the last minute in order to avoid plagiarism, and getting organized by using referencing management software. ASK is a unique support service for students of Newcastle University. Whether students require psychological, personal or academic support, the Student Support Team will cater for your needs. It is fundamental to remember that all you have to do is ASK.

MLK Day sees launch of Freedom City 2017 events By Isabel Sykes

Beginning the commemoration events with a spectacular projection Image: Newcastle University Press Office

Launched on the 16th of January, Freedom City 2017 starts a year-long tribute across Newcastle commemorating Dr Martin Luther King Jr. It celebrates the 50th anniversary of Dr King’s visit to Newcastle on the 13th of November 1967 where he received an honorary degree from Newcastle University. Professor Richard Davies, Pro-ViceChancellor for Engagement and Internationalisation said: “Newcastle University was the only UK University to honour Dr King in this way during his lifetime and it remains one of the most important moments in our history.” On accepting this award Dr King made a speech that is his last outside the US before the horrible assassination in April 1968. In this speech he identified three “urgent and great problems” in the world: racism, poverty, and war that are as relevant today as they were in 1967. Freedom City 2017 event will aim to bring people together, create internationally significant work, stimulate academic debate, and inspire a new generation to tackle the problems of racism, poverty, and war. Tyneside filmmakers, Adam and Patrick Collerton, devised this vision in a partnership with Newcastle University, Northern Roots, and NewcastleGateshead initiative. It is a one of a kind collaborative effort with partners across the city. Highlights of the commemoration include Freedom City on the Tyne

2017 which is a day-long series of performances recreating civil rights stories all over the city. The drama is led by renowned director Tim Supple and award-winning writer Roy Williams, and showcases the talent of local actors, dancers, musicians and performers. There will also be opened a new exhibition in the Great North Museum: Hancock, exploring Dr King’s visit to Newcastle in 1967 with photographs and oral histories. Keep an eye out for new art in and around campus as well! Students from Newcastle University’s school of Arts and Culture are creating an exhibition in the XL gallery. Moreover, a portrait sculptor Nigel Boonham is working on a bronze statue of Dr Martin Luther King to be installed on campus this year. There are also a number of academic projects taking place. Academics at Newcastle and Northumbria Universities are teaming up with local teachers to incorporate Dr King’s visit to Newcastle into their curriculum. An international academic conference discussing the latest world-class research on the US civil rights movement will take place along side the INSIGHTS public lectures programme. For this year it centres on the themes of racism, poverty, and war, beginning on the 21st of February with a talk from Reverend Jeffrey Brown. Find out about more upcoming events and how to get involved on Freedom City 2017’s official website:

Monday 13 February 2017

The Courier

Promoting positivity of women in activism By Louise Hall News Editor Last week Newcastle University Feminist Society hosted Alysia Harris in The Barbara Strang Teaching centre for an insightful discussion and workshop on how to be a healthy woman in activism. As an American poet, spoken word artist, activist and linguist Harris spoke very energetically and directly about the problems facing young women in activism, encouraging significant audience participation and creating an open atmosphere. The workshop began with a two-minute exercise where participants had to make direct eye contact with a stranger in the room. Harris also spoke about how women can find their own role in the feminist movement, describing in detail the varying inclusive roles for women from organisers to spokespersons. The event was free and open to anyone interested in learning about female activism, not just femsoc members or Newcastle University students and around 40 young women participated. The aims of the event were to help

people distinguish allies from advocates and familiarising us with young women currently involved in activism and to provide a safe space for women to discuss the issues they face both in activism and normal life and express the anger and fear they feel as a consequence. The two hour session included both participation activities and an individual lecture by Harris herself, with comments and discussion from the audience frequently encouraged. Fope Olaleye, president of Newcaslte University’s Feminist Society commented that: “it’s important to have events like these because many of us are so heavily involved and dedicated to activism that we forget how tolling it can be on our mental and physical health that sometimes it’s important to take a step back and realise that we have to look after ourselves as well.” “I learnt how to distinguish what specific type of activism I’m good at, and what areas of my activism I can improve and how to accomplish this. By distinguishing the different types of activism very clearly Alysia demonstrated how we can use our different qualities to fit together as a whole united force.”

“We forget how tolling activism can be and it’s important to take a step back and realise that we have to look after ourselves as well”

Alysia Harris alongside some audience members. Image: Louise Hall

Donald duck and cover By Helena Vesty News Editor The Insights Lecture Series resumed in 2017 with a topical start, receiving guest speaker, Professor Iwan Morgan of University College London, who spoke of an ‘America in Transition’. Morgan provided a concise and balanced breakdown of Obama’s successes and troubles whilst in office, alongside a summary of Trump’s first days in the leadership role, and his predictions for the future of the new Republican policies. Morgan opened by highlighting that Trump’s electoral victory constituted a considerable shift in American politics, not least because his opponent notably (and very controversially) now holds the title of having the largest popular vote won by any candidate who also lost the electoral college element of the electoral system. The lecture outlined in depth the conditions that may shape forthcoming news for the foreseeable future. Trump takes to the White House at a time where the Republican Party is at their strongest in 100 years, crucially indicating that one negative legacy of President Obama could be a galvanised white majority with the potential to influence the outcomes of elections for the coming 10 years. This proves a great contrast to the circumstances which Obama received at his first inauguration in 2008. Namely, the worst economic crisis since 1933, with over 800,000 jobs shed in an instant. Unsurprisingly, this is not where the contrasting approaches end. Whilst Obama made great efforts to improve relations with other nations, Trump has been seen to retreat from the world’s stage, also clashing with other powers, most publically China and Russia. Mor-

gan emphasised that Trump is simply not interested in the rule-based international order, which had been adhered to consistently by other American presidents. However, Professor Morgan also pointed toward some odd continuities between presidencies. Whilst it may be the complete antithesis of the well documented Executive Orders flowing out of the Oval Office of late, one of President Trump’s economic policies points in a somewhat liberal direction for his first term. The new public work and jobs bill promises colossal domestic investment, even more than Obama’s American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which allocated $787 billion over three years to encourage job creation and consumption. Yet before we get ahead of ourselves, Morgan suggested that this is another sign of inconsistency of Trump and his ideology, or lack thereof, rather than a possible departure from his more typical conservative nationalist attitudes. The perceived economic elitism featured in Trump’s cabinet picks, particularly the 14% of those chosen being billionaires, is an especially pertinent consideration when attempting to envisage what kind of policies the President will espouse next. This investigation into the recent history of the White House leadership, and his exploration of what we can expect next from the West Wing overall, was incredibly well received by over 600 people who filled the lecture theatre. Indeed, Professor Morgan will be an interesting source of opinion and analysis as the undoubtedly controversial events of 2017 unfold.

The Courier

news .7

Monday 13 February 2017

Cake charity run by indonesian students on rise By Sarah Loh Recently a few Indonesian students were inspired to create the charity project CLR19bakes, baking cakes and selling them online to raise money for SILO, a children shelter in that takes in and raises the less fortunate children from all over Indonesia. Amateur bakers Kezia and Monica, made use of their amateur baking skills to create new recipes to be sold on the website, and the project has since developed into a very successful phenomenon on campus. In just a matter of 3 months, they have successfully sold more than 50 cakes, 250 truffles and raised over £1000. The team also organize events and participate in bespoke pop ups such as the “TREAT YO’SELF”garage sale held in their very own backyard and a hangout party in a community space, Kommunity NCL. SILO children want to make sure that all children are valued and cared for and CLR19bakes greatly believe in this cause. The projects co-founder Kezia explained: “We’d like people to realise that generosity could be a really simple gesture. It doesn’t always have to be done in a conventional way and you don’t always have to pack your whole life and move to a remote area.” On February 14th the team are launch-

ing an interactive digital campaign: Caked by the Nation. The campaign invites the public to donate £1 and for every donation, they can nominate a name to get caked in the face. Each week, a live video will be broadcasted through Facebook and Instagram revealing the top 2 most voted names getting cake on their faces. Through this Caked by the Nation campaign, CLR19bakes aims to change the general mindset students often have about voluntary work. “We want to challenge the perception that says volunteering is boring, because it doesn’t have to be! We have had so much fun volunteering our time, energy, skills - we know it definitely can be creative, and that’s why we wanted to invite other students to join the project,” says Monica, co-founder. The CLR19bakes family has now tripled – from what started as a house project has now turned into a volunteering platform for many students from various countries. The project has also gained massive support from their friends & caught the attention of our very own Student’s Union, which has granted them funding for this campaign. The CLR19bakes team will also be hanging out around the Student’s Union & the city campaigning - you will have the opportunity to throw cakes at them for a small amount of donation. Subscribe to their website http://clr19bakes.

“The CLR19bakes family has now tripled – what started as a house project has now turned into a volunteering platform for many students from various countries”

One of CLR19bakes famous cakes Image: Sarah Loh

Innovative charger sparked by world class research By Toby Bryant One of the first “vehicle to grid” chargers have been installed at Newcastle University in collaboration with Enol and Nissan. The innovative charger allows energy to travel both to and from the car’s battery so that Electric Vehicles (EVs) can

evolve to become mobile storage systems. Professor Phil Taylor, Siemens professor of energy systems at the University, said: “The use of electric vehicles helps stabilise the [electric] grid. “As we get more and more electric vehicles connected to our system, what we can do is, rather than just charging them up for us to drive around, we can

actually use those electric vehicles to export energy back into our grid and stabilise it.” In turn, this will help to “de-carbonise” the grid at a lower cost. Newcastle University was not the first place to have the chargers installed, following Nissan’s Cranfield Research Facility last year. Nissan announced the first stages of

the plan in May last year. In that announcement, the company also revealed that 100 private and fleet owners of Nissan LEAF and e-NV200 van vehicles would be selected to participate in the trial, which would allow owners to sell spare electricity in their vehicle’s battery back to the national grid. Paul Willcox, chairman at Nissan Europe, claimed that the project would “shape the futures of industries, cities and societies”. Nissan has claimed that if the “vehicle to grid” chargers were to be fully integrated into everyday life, over £2.4 billion could be saved in electricity costs by 2030. The company also aims to develop 100 of these units in the UK. It is estimated that there will need to be over two million electric vehicles in use in the UK to meet the 2030 projection to achieve maximum energy efficiency. The project will be based at Science Central, a £300 million project at the heart of Newcastle, which provides a “test-bed for sustainable, urban development”. Science Central works alongside Newcastle City Council and creates extra

4,000 jobs and 2,000 family homes using some of the developed technologies. The announcement of the plans comes as Damian Hinds, Employment Minister, visits the North East to mark the latest release of labour market figures. Hinds will be touring Newcastle University’s School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering and meeting the leaders of this project. He said: “Newcastle University’s work is a strong example of the UK’s worldclass leadership in global science and research.” He announced that extra £2 billion a year will be spent on research in order “to keep us ahead of the game and support the jobs of the future.” The project could also benefit students as the university has established a number of partnerships with respected companies, such as Siemens, who provide fantastic employment opportunities to students. Nissan itself is currently taking around 15 people a month to work in its factory or supply chain and those chosen will benefit from a two-week training course to gain experience. It said that an affordable and reliable flow of electricity is key to power society in 2017.

“Newcastle University’s work is a strong example of UK’s world-class leadership in global science in research”

Electric vehicle Image: Pixabay

The Courier

news .9

Monday 13 February 2017

Separating the TEF from the Chaff


By Chris Duddy Education Officer Over the last couple of years, Students Unions and the NUS have been focusing their attention on the incoming “Teaching Excellence Framework”. It aims to measure the quality of teaching at individual institutions, and those that take part will be allowed to raise their fees with inflation. The TEF initiative is yet to approved by Parliament. It forms part of the Higher Education & Research Bill which is currently undergoing a series of amends. It is this Bill which is garnering the most press attention and parliamentary commentary. Imagine my surprise, therefore, when I came across Statutory Instrument 2016 no.1206 which was laid before Parliament on Dec 15 2016 and approved. It has come into effect on January 6th 2017. This S.I allows for an increase in fees for “eligible institutions”. These are defined in the explanatory notes of the S.I as institutions that have attained the “meets expectations” award in TEF Year One (which has already run its course through the 2015/16 academic year). What’s remarkable is that all universities who took part in TEF1, and those that intend to take part in this year’s TEF2, have been guaranteed that they will “meet expectations” if they take part in the initiative. I personally do not see how a measure of excellence can be awarded automatically. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn is amongst those who have signed a petition for annulment of the S.I, but the last time an annulment occurred was in 2000. To try and summarise the very con-

NEWSTACK 10-year-old applies to be LEGO professor

King’s Gate, Newcastle Uni’s central hub Image: John Lord fusing situation above – the S.I allows fees to go up if you take part in the TEF. Parliament has not yet approved the existence of the TEF through the Higher Education Bill. So how does this affect us? Earlier in the year, most higher education institutions’ websites made it clear that fees would go up “pending parliamentary approval”. Having done a quick search of cached versions of several fees pages, it appears that around the January 20th mark (not long after the S.I came into effect), many changed their wording to omit the “pending parliamentary approval” phrase, and declared the fees for 2017 would be £9,250 (in line with inflation). As of January 25th 2017, I noticed some changes appearing on several institutions’ websites. For example, Newcastle, Liverpool and Manchester have all announced fees of £9250 for stu-

dents. Northumbria, Durham and LSE still maintain the rise is “subject to parliamentary approval”. For Newcastle specifically, the website states that students who commenced their studies in 2015 will pay £9000 for the remainder of their degree. Students commencing their studies after this date will be subject to the inflationary increase(s). If the Higher Education & Research Bill 2016 still needs to be passed to allow an institution to raise its fees in line with inflation, surely declaring an increase in fees at this point is jumping the gun? Perhaps the bigger question is why hasn’t this development been covered in the press? The media has plenty to cover with the antics of our cousins across the pond, but I would have imagined a lot more focus on something which will completely change the landscape of the HE sector.

Cambridge University has recently received an application from a 10-yearold boy who applied for the Lego Professorship of Play in Education, Development, and Learning. Aedhan Brown, from Aylesbury, heard about the position opening on the radio breakfast show and decided to apply for the role. He received a response to his letter from Perrett Laver, the company handling recruitment for the role, praising him for

his initiative, focus and vision for the future. Aedhan commented to Mix 96: “I’m inspired, and I’m going to try again when I have a PhD I guess!” His mother, Felicity, was equally delighted with the response. “I was so delighted. I couldn’t believe how lovely the letter was as well, it was inspirational. They said how impressed they were that a 10-year-old could even think about applying for a job, yet alone getting up and doing it.”


17th most international university in the world Warwick has been ranked as the 17th most international university in the world in a newly published table by Times Higher Education. The factors that were taken into account were the percentage of international students and staff, the number of journal publications with at least one international co-author, and University’s international reputation. Warwick’s high ranking reflects the University’s commitment to secure its global position and expand its inter-

national reach. Currently, one-third of students and one-fifth of staff are from countries other than the UK. This new table follows a continuation in the worldwide trend of internationalisation in higher education. For example, a 2015 survey conducted by the European University Association revealed that 69% of staff in 46 countries indicated that they believed internationalisation was highly important to their institution.


First ever graphene dress The dress, which contains graphene, has been produced by Manchester University students and is able to change colour by adapting to the wearer’s breathing patterns. Graphene was used to power small LED lights within the dress whilst also acting as a sensor of the model’s breathing. It was produced by a collaboration between the National Graphene Institute at the University of Manchester and Cute Circuit, a London fashion company that produces wearable technology,

and is being hailed as the world’s most ‘hi-tech’ dress. A million times thinner than a human hair, graphene is thought to be the thinnest, strongest, and most conductive material in the world. It was discovered in Manchester in 2004 by university professors Kostya Novoselov and Andre Geim, who received the Nobel Prize in physics for their work with the material. During January shoppers could see the dress at the Trafford Centre.


Refugee training app Two Leeds University alumni have launched an educational social enterprise to train and employ refugees from academic and professional backgrounds to teach their own languages and culture in the United Kingdom. Chatterbox has now been commissioned by the SOAS University of London to deliver 400 hours of conversation practice to their students. “Chatterbox teachers are doctors, law-

yers, engineers and academics – highly skilled professionals with a lot to offer,” said Mursal. “It’s fantastic for them to engage in stimulating work whilst learning more about the way of life here. ” The prototype for Chatterbox was tested at various universities across London, The project is designed to facilitate a smoother and faster integration of refugees into the labour market.

By Kotryna Kairyte News Editor

Comment 10.

Monday 13 February 2017

The Courier

Comment Editors Jamie Cameron, Sinéad CorkettBeirne & Sunil Nambiar | @Courier_Comment

Is Obama’s legacy change enough? Representing the audacity of hope to some, hopelessness to others: Did the 44th U.S. President leave a positive legacy?



Helena Vesty

omapred to Donald Trump’s administration in this new era of ‘alternative facts’ and ‘post-truth’, it is now fairly easy to look back on President Obama’s tenure with a rose-tinted view, and see a unifying, disciplined and triumphant brand of politics. Indeed, this is the attitude largely preached across social media, not least by the countless videos and pictures of Barack and Joe’s wonderful friendship, or the contrasting pictures of the large crowds at the Obama inaugurations set beside the somewhat lacklustre version seen this January. Obviously, looking at Trump makes Obama look like a saint, but the actual benefits which the leadership of Obama brought are a testament to the successes of two terms set in the context of a broken economy and a rapidly-changing society. It’s undeniable that Obama received a country on the brink of financial disaster, while still reeling from the failures of the Iraq War. Indeed, it was precisely because of these circumstances that

his message of hope, albeit simple and innocent, resonated with so many voters of all backgrounds, across the nation. Yet even amid these difficult challenges, President Obama ensured 75 months of consecutive job creation, the longest period of its kind in American history, bringing unemployment down to an incredible 4.7%. Obama embodied the emotional depth, skill for innovation and respect for his position, required for the Presidency – characteristics which other occupiers of this most powerful position have often fallen short on. This was most evident when reviewing his achievements in extending health care insurance through the Affordable Health Care Act. He seized the opportunity in the short, four-month window where the Democrats had the numbers (by a miniscule margin) to prevent a filibuster in the Senate and overcame immense Republican obstruction, passing legislation which enabled coverage for 16.9 million people in 18 months. One might now say that America is now more divided than ever. However, for an all too brief, sweet moment, the pairing of Barry O and Uncle Joe clearly brought with it crucial social and economic progress for their country, which will endure long after their time in office.


Jamie Cameron


bama was, once upon a time, the Hope and Change candidate. Now he has little legacy to speak of, as all of his marginal gains over the last 8 years are swept aside by a far-right insurgency. Truthfully, only some of this eventuality is his fault, but Obama’s greatest sin is making too little use of his historic opportunity to change the American landscape. We can only judge Obama based on how he made use of his available powers. In terms of legislation, the lacklustre Affordable Care Act goes nowhere near far enough in addressing America’s healthcare crisis - scrupulous insurers continue to extort people at their most vulnerable. He was also unable to pass comprehensive climate change and immigration legislation. The Stimulus Package only passed because of 3 Republicans crossing the aisle. New regulations on banks were not nearly enough to stop another crisis, and did not make up for the repeal of Glass-Steagal. In effect, he passed very little important legislation, and that he did was too weak. All of his legislation can now be expected to be repealed by Trump, leaving him with

essentially no legislative legacy. However, I can cut the man some slack here, because a total of 60 senators is needed to effectively pass legislation, and Obama only had exactly 60 Democratic senators for 4 months in his first term. It can be said though that in more autonomous issues of executive orders and foreign policy, and using his media presence, Obama was lacklustre. Some executive orders like demanding overtime pay for middle class workers and stopping Arctic drilling make a real tangible difference to people’s lives, but many of these can be expected to be repealed, and many ended up just caught up in courts. However, Obama should have been even more aggressive in using these orders, as they amounted to a great deal of his hard power. Making two supreme court nominations is highly important, and it’s excellent that Obama was in power for this vital time. However, not being able to replace Justice Scalia because of republican majorities in Congress has been a massive blow to a progressive Supreme Court. Obama could have saved Democratic majorities, perhaps, if he had not supported corrupt figures like Debbie Wasserman-Schultz in his party, and had instead grown the grass roots support needed for repeated victories. It was also vital for Obama to do more to stop corporate money massively corrupting the government, but he never even tried to rectify this greatest of American issues. In foreign policy, Obama performed well with Iran and Cuba, better than any Republican would, and signed needed climate change agreements. However he supported too strongly the terrible TPP and other damaging trade deals. He unfortunately never closed Guantanamo, and only started more wars instead of ending them like he promised. On the whole, Obama has been entirely constrained by a hostile congress, but he never made use of what powers he had fully. Ultimately, Trump will wipe out any legacy he could have left, but at least, for a while, the world suffered slightly less.

Protest: the sound of democracy at work In the wake of anti-Trump protests across the world, Thomas Rogerson affirms the value of public protest when backed with action.


womens’ march on Washington, the whole Romanian government forced to back down on new legislation, and antitrump protests the world over. If the last months’ protests were an indicator of discontent, then people must be pretty aggrevated to say the least. The distance between electors and office holders is its widest for some time, and mandates for authority appear to be on shaky ground. Indeed, Trump has entered office with the lowest approval ratings in recent history, amidst a continually hated Congress. Initiated by the women’s march and later as a response to the travel ban, millions of people have protested the policies of the Trump administration. Are such protests useful? Does silence in the face of these events equal compliance? Protests are often dismissed as vain and inconsequential in persuading policy makers and influencing major decisions. However, this is too sweeping a judgement. Protests are a mechanism for highlighting societal issues that remain

neglected by policy makers and those in power. One assumption made of demonstrations is that protesters are seeking for an immediate, direct and unequivocal satisfying of their demands. Of course, in protesting they seek to address the issue, but demonstrations serve a wider purpose of harmonising sections of society in exchanging views and defining objectives.

“Demonstrations serve a wider purpose of harmonising sections of society” Protests demonstrate some effectiveness for any of us who has occasioned on a protest in the City Centre and wondered “What are they protesting for?”, because they ask us to consider the issue at hand, if however briefly. Central to the idea of protest is the raising

of an injustice or systemic problem currently unaddressed by the agenda of policy makers, with the views of constituents ill-represented. Such representatives are often removed from the daily consequences of injustice and discrimination.

“Protests must be part of a wider co-ordinated citizen’s movement in pushing for a clear objective” Frequently levelled at protests regarding civil rights and gender equality are “Why protest? You’ve got your rights now.” Simply, discrimination and injustice does not vanish at the statute book. The Woman’s march against Trump reminded us of the injustices that our mothers faced, as well as the propensity for it to be perpetrated again. It also reminds holders of power that attempt to transgress on such issues do so at their own peril.

Now, protests might not directly bring the Trump presidency crashing down, but they do question the legitimacy of his policies, whilst firmly reminding our representatives to hold fast to ideas of democratic freedoms, equality before the law, and tolerance of difference. Such ideas mustn’t be abandoned the moment our leaders walk on the world stage. As members of a democratic system we too must embody these ideals for democracy to withstand citizen apathy and the curtailing of power. Yet, protests are only as effective as what happens once everyone goes home. Protest movements like Occupy fizzled out because they failed to clarify their aims and to attract wider appeal from the rest of society. Whereas movements such as the end to of the Vietnam war and Scottish devolution succeeded because they had clear aims. Protests must be part of a wider co-ordinated citizens’ movement in pushing for a clear objective, embodying it in their daily lives and ultimately reflecting it in their vote at the ballot box.

The Courier

comment .11

Monday 13 February 2017


Love letters to the editors


Valentine’s Day is on the horizon, and love in the air! Our writers celebrate by uncovering the nuances of love.



’ve never been an overtly obvious guy and thus I’m a great believer in the subtle expression of love. So the idea of a whole day devoted to an outright explosion of affection should be something I scorn at. Yet, it seems to me that Valentines can be surprisingly beneficial and this is for a few reasons. We are endlessly distracted by the torrid state of the world, so much so that we often lose sight of what is really important and that is to love and be loved. As a politics student, I probably should be to blame for perpetuating this end is nigh-esque rhetoric which seemingly seems to plague much of our outlook in life. Nevertheless, I believe that Valentine’s Day (regardless of the level of cringe it reliably delivers each year) serves as an outlet to express love and affection toward one another. Whether that expression manifests itself in an enormous, overpriced teddy bear from Clintons or a simple note, it doesn’t matter. Valentine’s Day gives people the opportunity to show love and acts as a reminder that we are all loved by someone, so surely we should be praising that. It’s a distraction which can be surprisingly medicinal and above all, it makes you feel good and can be very grounding. Look at Valentine’s Day like Flares; a bit cheesy, slightly cringey and all a bit predictable - but embrace it nonetheless, because to be quite honest, it’s great to feel the love.

MONEY LOVE Sophie Chapman


t. Valentine’s Day, February 14th, or simply Valentine’s - whatever you call it is irrelevant because the fact remains it’s a made-up holiday. Sure, Saint Valentine may have been some kind of hero to the young lovers of the Roman era, but nowhere did he stipulate the unnecessary buying of flowers or exchanging of cards. In doing so, you’re not celebrating love but celebrating capitalism and its success in influencing cultural norms. Capitalists are constantly trying to create consumer desire for certain products, and what better way to do it than creating a whole new ‘festival of love’ in which society forces you to pay three times the going rate for a romantic meal with your love (that is if you can find a restaurant that’s not fully booked). Seriously, what are you trying to achieve by sending a Valentine’s Day card with the same mass-produced message received by thousands of people across the country and perfectly crafted by someone employed by Card Factory? It loses some of its charm when you think about it. And even if you’re not thinking about buying a card for that special someone, the mere existence of the day has you questioning why not. This is not to say love doesn’t exist. But, isn’t there some better way to celebrate it? How about the other 364 days a year when you’re not culturally obliged to become some overly romantic sap?



ove today is vastly different from love during our grandparents’ or even parents’ time. What happened to those days of writing handwritten letters and lasting promises of growing old and frail together? These days a perfunctory text is all it takes to break off a relationship. All the pomp and fanfare on Valentine’s Day is all beginning to look like a façade to divert attention from the important crux of the matter which is: Has lust been mistaken for love? We are all visual creatures, often blinded by attractive looks and good fun. Eliminating these factors, are we confident enough to stick by that once-vivacious SO till death do us part? Love is the most private and intimate connection between two people but we have use the yearly Valentine’s Day as a convenient way to loudly and publicly proclaim our love in one shot instead of demonstrating small acts of love daily. It’s just takes too much of an effort. Call me a prudish cynic, but meaningless sex is rampant in the media and real life which makes once-hopefuls like me lose confidence in love. Perhaps we are all tired of being taken advantage of, false signals and utterly sick of not getting our once-innocent feelings reciprocated that’s why we are unconsciously resistant to the idea of making the effort to sustain something that might just fail eventually. I think we need to build that undying patience to stick around for the good parts, it will pay off eventually.

Call me May-be? A special relationship

Last month, Theresa May met Donald Trump in Washington. Was this the right move? Our writers react to the visit

Alexandra Sadler


iplomacy is a tricky thing. Push too far, or too hard, and an alliance can crumble, but push too little and the leader begins to looks too weak to stand up for his or her country. However, I believe that there is a difference between working cooperatively with an ally, and pandering to the wishes of an immoral and worryingly ignorant leader. Donald Trump does not seem to understand the checks and balances in place within his own country, nor does he understand the supremacy of the Constitution and its actors. All of this is worrying within a domestic context, but internationally, leaders should ensure that the President carries out his role. I am not suggesting that other heads of state or government dictate what the President’s role is, far from it, but merely that they should ensure that the President acts responsibly, and with morality.

‘‘Going to visit the newly inaugurated President in Washington was the right thing to do’’

One of these leaders is Theresa May. Going to visit the newly inaugurated President in Washington was the right thing to do, in order to maintain an alliance, and in order to discuss policies face to face. However, pandering to the whims of the Trump administration is not.

‘‘Internationally, leaders should ensure that the President carries out his role”

The horrifying executive orders signed recently, coupled with what has come out of Trump’s mouth (and on Twitter) should not be brushed aside. Theresa May should have reaffirmed that we will

not stand by and watch him make derogatory comments, enforce inhumane policies, and make poorly thought out executive decisions that lead to avoidable deaths. If there ever was such as thing as British values, now would be a good time to show it. Post-Brexit we do need trade deals, but not at the cost of losing our humanity and compassion in the process. Not engaging with the administration and

be a huge, brave step to view our foreign policy outside of the prism of the Special Relationship for the first time in over 100 years. I think it is necessary to do so now. As we tussle with the challenges of Brexit, whether you voted Leave or Remain, we now must look to the whole globe for new relationships and trading opportunities. That means looking beyond the USA too. I felt, quite frankly, ashamed to see our own Prime

“Donald Trump does not seem to understand the checks and balances in place”

‘‘I think British dignity is worth more than Theresa May’s hopes to feel she has some influence in Washington’’

showing our distaste or disapproval for policies only serves to legitimize their actions. Just because many of those in Britain are not attacked by Trump’s policies, does not mean we should idly stand by.

Benjamin Eckford


s the Labour MP Dawn Butler wrote last Tuesday, when American sneezes, the UK catches a cold, but what the USA has now is a really nasty virus, and we need to stop it from spreading around the world. The UK has a privileged position as America’s closest and longest-standing ally. The Special Relationship has been the cornerstone of our foreign policy since the First World War. I have always supported it, and I am by no means antiAmerican. But, there is now a man in the White House who has no idea how to govern and does not care about Britain or the Special Relationship.

‘‘This is not the sort of leader our country should be regarding as our best friend’’

Being a good ally and a good friend also means telling them where they’re going wrong. It would

Minister, the representative of Britain abroad, rush to Washington to hold hands with a man who has openly boasted of sexual assault, demonised migrants, declared his support for torture, admires Vladimir Putin, proposed that more countries get nuclear weapons, and threatened war with China. This is not the sort of leader our country should be regarding as our best friend. It is also smacks of

“I felt, quite frankly, ashamed to see our own Prime Minister... hold hands with a man who has openly boasted of sexual assault”

desperation that because we are so bereft of trading options and despairing of what trade deals we can get because of Brexit, our Prime Minister went with the begging bowl, ready to sell British dignity for some meagre trading deal that will inevitably be heavily lopsided in favour of the USA. I love my country, and I think British dignity is worth more than Theresa May’s hopes to feel she has some influence in Washington.


Jamie Cameron

ave you ever thought it odd that people can get so attached to a football team? “Of course not, you pillock”, you quickly reply, but hang on, don’t be so hasty. I mean, just what is it about a small cadre of millionaire sportsmen from all corners of the globe that stirs up such regional pride? These are people hired by billionaire oligarchs, who often have no roots in the UK whatsoever, nevermind the area for which they run the dubiously related sports club. If that weren’t strange enough, isn’t it fascinating that supporters will say something like “we propa smashed ya boys last night”, typically after downing a pint at a working men’s club, as if these regular supporters of titanic sports corporations, voids of capital and interest, actually have anything to do with them? - besides taking their money. This requires further research.

PRISON BREAK Cvety Illieva


f you are searching for a brilliant TV series that will make you question your life… here is news to be ecstatic about! Seven years after its cancelation, Fox’s most hyped series Prison Break is officially coming back to our screens with a brand new season! And, if you‘re still not jumping with joy like a lunatic. I take it you are one of those people who have never seen this legendary show. So here it is to you - If there is a thing you need to know about Prison Break is that It’ll wrack your mind. It is one of those series that simply make love to your brain. Not only does it stimulate your mind with its non-stop genius plot twists and mind blowing depth of the storyline, but the series can guarantee to keep you on your toes and leave you begging for more. Add to the equation ultra-hot bad boys squad including faces like Wentworth Miller and Dominic Purcell and you get as result a brilliant production that promises to quench your thirst for thrills and adventure.



Benjamin James

rump is a catastrophe. He horrifies me. Right, now that I’ve said what 99% of the under 25’s expect of me, let me add one warning. It’s ok to marvel at the sheer bluntness, hypocrisy and all round bafoonery of the man somehow holding the most powerful and respected office in the Western World, BUT, do not just hate him because it’s fashionable. Please, for the love of God, don’t be an intellectual vacuum, don’t talk at me in sound bites about ‘loving Trump’s hate’, don’t nod blindly and agree with whatever little snippet of facile Conservative-bashing the 1625 generation has decided to pedal this week. Oppose Trump. Oppose him for the right reasons. Oppose him for his vulgarity and cruelty and for his desire to control. But also don’t forget to oppose those who hate him just because the rest of their generation does, and so too, naturally must they - this terrifying generational phenomenon is more damaging to free thought and rational discussion than Trump could ever be. Think before you roast Mr Trump, my fellow millennials - remember to have a good reason to despise him.

The Courier

RAG Week feature.13

Monday 13 February 2017

RAG Week 2017 Every January during the week following exams, RAG take on various different fundraising tasks in and around the North East. Here The Courier brings you the lowdown on the fun-filled week that bagged a whole lot of dollar for charity... A comment from Co-Presidents, Harry Young and Liam Day: We’re both over the moon with how the week turned out. We raised a record amount of money, and really made a difference to those less fortunate all across the globe. In addition to the money raised, our amazing team of volunteers completed hundreds of hours of volunteering and we couldn’t be prouder. Thanks to the crew, supervisors and committee, the week ran incredibly smoothly and we’ve had loads of positive feedback from across the university, union and the city. We couldn’t have done it without you guys!

Barn Dance

Talent Show

Take Me Out

RAG Committee member and Take Me Organiser, Hayley Allen, attempts to piece together the crazy night that was Take Me Out

On Monday night Venue was completely transformed, with fairy lights and country decor to set the scene of an evening full of fun and dance. RAG Week Supervisor and Dance Society member, Lorin Everall, led the event, along with other members of the Dance Society who came down to the Union especially to teach the attendees how to barn dance. NUSU’s Activities Officer, Rebecca Walker, attended the event and said: “The barn dance was so much fun. I was involved with RAG last year so I knew that I was going to enjoy the evening, but I’d forgotten how much fun barn dancing actually was”. Harry Reynolds, a RAG Crew member who had never done barn dancing before said: “I was a bit hesitant at first but once I saw how keen everybody else was, I wasn’t really bothered if I embarrassed myself with being a bit rubbish. At the end of the day, it is for charity”.

Take Me Out is always a hit during RAG Week, how did you feel about stepping up to the mark and organising it? It was kinda dauting seen as though every year it’s always so popular. How the night pans out is always dependent on how the contestants/panelists react to each other, so it was really out of my hands. Thanks to a few pints of diesel and a bit of adrenel-

Tuesday night saw the RAG Talent Show take over Venue. The evening was hosted by Newcatle University’s Theatre Society (NUTS) regular and stand-up comic, Joe Hodgson. The night began with a short piece of stand-up comedy by the host himself which gaging from the reaction of the audience, went down a treat. The evening was organised by RAG Committee member and Event Leader, Charles Mason. Commenting on the night Mason said: “I’m really happy with how the night turned out. Thanks to everybody that came along and helped raise the money. I’d also like to say a big thanks to the socieites that came down and got involved, you all did amazing”. Talent Show participants included: A Capella, Irish Dance Society, Grace Byron, Newcastle University Dance Society with an Intermediate Jazz dance and an Intermediate Tap dance, as well as professional stand-up comedian, Geordie George.

ine, everybody was in good spirits though so once That sounds like a bit of a mare! But he still manthe night started I knew I had nothing to worry aged to grab himself a date? about. He did yeah. From the stories I’ve heard about him, Any extra cringe-worthy stuff we should know Sophie (Liam’s Take Me Out date) is one lucky, about? lucky girl. It was all pretty cringey, I’m not going to lie...but in Slow down there Hayley, it sounds like you’ll be a funny way. Like on the real Take Me Out, I want- after the date if Sophie’s not careful... ed to know any embarrassing stories about each of There’s no need to worry about that, I was on the the 8 contestants so I got their friends to prerecord Take Me Out Panel last year and I’m still scarred by videos and made sure that the contestants didn’t the experience of the date I went on. know what was coming. I’ll Don’t worry, we’ll move save all the people involved “All of the matches seemed to get swiftly on then...Was there a bit of shame by not re- along well, although I do think that a couple in particular that peating what was said. some of the answers given were you’d like to see work out? Where’s the fun in that not really sure to be alcohol fuelled, but hey, drunk I’m though? honest. All of the matches Let’s just say that I could words speak a sober mind and all seemed to get along well, ruin a lot of lives with although I do think that that” what I know after watching some of the answers were those videos. But it’s all in good humour and all in alcohol fuelled, but hey, drunk words speak a sober the name of charity. mind and all that...I am hopeful that some of the That bad, ey! What was your highlight of the dates go well though, especailly because one of the night? couples that were matched at last year’s Take Me It’s hard to choose because I spent the whole night Out are still together! Also I’d like to give a shoutin tears laughing. I’d probably have to say Liam Day out to Jake, the only one of our contestants to get (one of RAG’s Co-Presidents) trying and failing a blackout. I don’t really know how it all happened not once, but twice, at a card trick which was sup- because he seemed alright to me. posed to be his talent to woo the ladies. All images shown by David Goz @ Hexagram Photography

Still to come... RAG have further charity events planned for the rest of the academic year, including the RAG Ball on 24 February which is set to be held at The Biscuit Factory, as well as the annual RAG Fashion Show 16 March, which will take place in Venue @ Newcastle University Students’ Union.





of the week Cheap, warming, healthy and

Monday 13 February 2017

The Courier

Culture Editors: James McCoull & Jack Oliver Parker Sections: Lifestyle, Fashion, Beauty, Arts, Music, Film, TV, Gaming & Science | @CourierOnline

Childhood chums or student squad?

Hallelujah, you’ve made it through exams; but who has been around to help you through the struggle and stress of uni life? Friend-slut Toby Bryant gives his mates a good old rate

filling. Hope Coke ticks all the boxes with this recipe

Mexican sweet potato bake For this recipe I wanted something comforting and cozy but a little bit exotic too. It’s also fairly low effort beyond a bit of chopping and stirring, and you’ll end up with something nutritious too thanks to vitamin heavy sweet potatoes, protein packed black beans and plenty of veg. I’ve put in some suggestions for what you could serve this with but it’s also good just as it is, or with a green salad. Serves 2-3 Ingredients: -2-3 large sweet potatoes (about 350-400g), chopped into about 2cm chunks -1 courgette, sliced into thick rounds, and each round into halves -1 red pepper, cored and cut into bite size chunks -2 tbsp olive oil -1 tsp cumin -1/2 tsp cinnamon -1/2 tsp chilli powder -1/2 tsp salt -1 tbsp olive oil -1 red onion, finely chopped -1 tsp cumin seeds -1 tin chopped tomatoes -1 tsp mixed dried green herbs -1/2 tsp salt -1 x 4oog tin black beans, drained, or 100g dried black beans, cooked in advance according to packet instructions -60g feta or cheese of choice -1 small handful fresh coriander, roughly chopped To serve, (optional): -Diced avocado, lime wedges, sour cream, chilli sauce, tortilla wraps/ rice/ quinoa Directions: Preheat your oven to 220 degrees C. Toss the chopped sweet potato, courgette and red pepper together with 2 tbsp olive oil and the cumin, cinnamon, chilli powder and salt. Tip onto a large baking tray and roast in the oven for about 20 minutes, or until all the veg is nicely softened and starting to brown in places. Meanwhile, heat one tbsp olive oil in a saucepan over a medium heat. Add your chopped onion and cumin seeds to the pan and fry for about 5 minutes. Tip in your tinned tomatoes and dried herbs and salt and let it simmer gently on the heat, stirring occasionally, until some of the liquid has evaporated and the sauce has thickened and isn’t watery. When the vegetables are cooked, remove from the oven and tip into a medium sized baking dish along with the black beans, stirring the beans and veg together until evenly combined. Pour the tomato sauce on top, spreading evenly so that the bean/ veg mixture is covered. Grate or crumble your cheese over the top and put under the grill in the oven until the cheese is lightly toasted and browning slightly. Remove from the oven and scatter with the coriander. Spoon onto bowls or plates, top with avocado, sour cream, squeezes of lime, stuff into wraps, have with tortilla chips, serve with rice... or eat just as it is.

“Being put into housing with a group of complete strangers-all learning how to live on their own forges fast and strong friendships”

“That sense of “home” is a feeling that University friends, however close you become, cannot provide”

The Death of Deliciously Ella

Healthy eating has been a trend for a while now, but Helena Buchanan discusses the bad publicity that has followed the Queen of lentils and quinoa - Ella Woodward This article contains sensitive content that some students may find distressing.


t is so very, very easy to hate ‘Deliciously Ella’. While others fill their doldrum lives making bounce balls out of hemp and angel tears I sit with a loaf of bread dipping it in anything runnier than bread chuckling at the foolish wealthy so easily taken in by the new fad, allowing the small concession that at least with clean eating it’s largely women rather than men who are capitalising of other women’s insecurity. All that was mostly bullshit. Despite confident feminist rhetoric and eyes wide open to the patriarchy’s lies with a jabbing index finger exposing it, I too sacrificed myself at the altar of clean eating. All the while claiming to sit around eating bread. Because oh wait yeah lol it was an eating disorder, which are all about lying to others and yourself. ‘If eating disorders are unhealthy and eating unhealthily is unhealthy then surely eating healthily can’t be an eating disorder or unhealthy’ she mutters, darkly, tucking into her pre-cardio fifth bowl of peas under a blanket, aware that her mother, if she saw how she was eating, would put a stop to it with the mad misconception that this was a diet. She farts poison but only because her body is ridding itself of her bad old life to make room for her glorious new superfoods or their economic equivalents (carrots and peas). The whole sacrifice image earlier, not really a joke. A quick overview of the effects of my ‘cleaneating’ includes bloated stomach, horrendous farts, hair all over your body, slightly yellow skin, fragile nails and hair, a lack of sweat but a strong smell and no periods. Far from the vision of health presented by clean eating gurus. Oh except yeah, you will lose weight. But these clean eating gals aren’t about weight loss, and I’m a super good body-positive feminist so that must have been an accident!

A spiral (no, not a spiraliser) from clean eating to eating disorder is easy for a depressive with chronic low self-esteem. My absorption of ‘clean eating’ culture was due to my mental health but the lie that there is no problem is made that bit easier when the world of social media is perpetrating that lie, reinforcing the notion that food restriction is not a diet but health. Note that a new diagnosis ‘Ortho-

“Despite confident feminist rhetoric and eyes wide open to the patriarchy’s lies with a jabbing index finger exposing it, I too sacrificed myself at the altar of clean eating”

rexia’ has developed for obsessive healthy eating. When I read about Ella Mills I am slightly more inclined to pity. She was ill and changing her diet made her better. She created a business out of health and beauty, definitely not the first to do so. Her Instagram and recipe book do seem to suggest she eats carbs, even if only brown rice and quinoa. This also suggests that the idea of how we all eat is not as binary as it is presented, it is not merely a case of peas and beansprouts and 10k runs vs big macs and big macs and sit down not ups. But for me it’s so much easier, and possibly so much better simply to hate her and hate ‘clean eating’, reprogram entirely, damning it all a fad, and maybe someday finding some sort of middle ground. Hopefully one where I can consume food without it consuming me. I guess a gal can dream.

The Courier


Monday 13 February 2017

Phoebe on Mark

Phoebe Bower, 3rd Year English Literature meets Mark McGarry, 2rd Year English Literature

Where did you go on your date? We went to Bar Loco. It was Mark’s idea. I asked him what he wanted to do and he was like ‘oh we could go for foo,’ but I thought maybe let’s start with a drink and Bar Loco is really nice so thought that was best. Did you go for food in the end? No, no I’ve had a really hectic few days and to be honest, I needed to get to bed! By the end I was a bit like I have to go home before I pass out. I felt really bad as well because I was about 20 minutes late too because I’ve been so busy. Okay, so on the date how was the first impression? Had you actually kept it a Blind Date? Yeah we followed it through and did it properly. Didn’t facebook him or anything. He was lovely, conversation was really easy and there weren’t any awkward pauses or anything and it was also good because he did English Literature so we had a lot to talk about. Okay so being a Blind Date how did you know it was him when you walked into Bar Loco? Well he did tell me what he was going to be wearing and it’s a tiny little place, so when I walked in like 20 minutes late I was like ‘oh yeah I know who you are’ sort of thing but yeah he was really friendly, really smiley and offered to get us a drink straight away so that was really nice. So was he buying the drinks then? He bought the first round, but I bought the second. He offered to buy the second as well but I wanted to make up for being late. Was there any sexual chemistry throughout the date? Umm I wouldn’t say sexual. And it’s early, like does that really happen on the first date? But no it was friendly and comfortable and not awkward or anything like that. So do you remember what kind of stuff you talked about? We talked a lot about our course because obviously we both do English so there was a lot about what we enjoy reading, and chatting about lecturers, that kind of stuff. Also were talking about like where we’re from because I’m from London and he’s from around here, and I do love a Geordie. And he was just chatting about going out on the town and where we go. I’m quite mainstream and he’s quite edgy. Ah great! And for our other, less enthused daters out there, how would you rate the Blind Date experience as a whole? I think it helped that I was actually like all you have to do is go and talk to someone, right? Worst comes to worst, it’s awkward for an hour and then you make your excuses. But most of the time, it’s quite exciting because it means you don’t have any preconceived conceptions about that person so I think it’s way better not to add them on facebook. It’s nice just going and not having any expectations and you’re not thinking this, that or the other, like is he too short or oh I don’t into blondes or whatever. I think it’s best for a Blind Date to actually treat it like a Blind Date. Do you think that aspect then took the tension away? Yeah I do, I think that with dating, if you’re with someone you already fancy, you’re going to be a lot more nervous. This was a lot more stripped down… not literally, I was wearing clothes. Right so, date a success. How did it end? Well it was me kind of saying I need to go because I’m knackered. He offered to walk us to the metro station as well which I thought was really nice and gentlemanly. It was a short walk, but nice gesture. I thought it was really sweet of him to offer. Some guys wouldn’t and it’s just little things that make a difference. Okay now the classic, if he were an animal what would he be? Oh god can you think of an edgy animal? Umm.. I’d say maybe a badger? Alright yeah I like badger. Cute and sweet but edgy. Finally out of 10, what would you rate your date? I think a solid 8!

Mark on Phoebe

Firstly, was this a blind date or did you dod abit of facebook stalking first? Ill admit i did look up ‘Phoebe’... bu there were so many, she wasnt the phoebe I thought she’d be. so despite my best efforts it was completely blind yeah. Where did you go? Bar Loco Was that your decisision? I was up for going for a meal at the forth, but in the end we decided drinks would be better Did you go anywhere afterwards? We didn’t, we chatted for a few hours and then realised it was time to get the last metro so I walked her to the metro station How romantic… Well I think we kind of established that neither of us were each other’s types, which was fine. We got on really well though, it was easy, it wasn’t awkward at all What did you talk about? She’s from Croydon, and I’m from round here, so we just talked about how different the two places are. We talked about how uni was going because she’s on the same course as me but in the year above. I was getting a lot of advice interspersed throughout the night! So we’ve established that you didn’t fancy her… I thought she was pretty! And we had a great night, just neither of us were feeling it. Are you going to see her again? I’d definitely see her again, I’ll go to the pub as pals. If she was a high street shop which one would she be? That’s hard… that’s really abstract. I’d go with something pretty fancy? Can I come back to this question? I guess… what was the best thying about her? That you could have a conversation with her without really trying to, everything happned really naturally. I know it wasn’t 100 % successful, but would you recommend blind date to people? It’s a really sureeal experience, I had no idea what I was walking into. But after a few minutes it was fine. I’d definitely recommend it, you never know. And it’s always good to get to know a new face. So what would you rate her out of 10? I’d give her an 8! The night itself was really nice. I see a lot of people write 7.5, but you cant tell that the date was really bad. But wholeheartedly I’d give her an 8 Can’t argue with that, but back to the high street question… Because she’d quite chatty I’d go for somewhere you could get anything you want easily Wow… Not like that! Do you mean like Tescos? Yes! Oh we did actually talk about tescos because we both live near different tescos. Definitely tescos, it’s there when you need it. You somehow mangaed to bring that back around... thanks Mark!

Fancy a date? We’ll set you up. Contact us! Find us on The Lifestyle Writers 2016/17 Facebook

Monday 13 February 2017

The Courier

Lifestyle Editors: Ana Beretsos, Antonia Coleman-Harvey,

Astrological Antonia Coleman-Harvey and Brooklyn ‘Sorceress’ Shakeshaft Ward

give their love predictions for each starsign this V-Day Aries March 21- April 19

Aries, 2017 is the year your love life finally starts to look up... take the plunge, that person that caught your eye last year may be the man of your dreams!

Taurus April 20- May 20

Taurus, the bull sign. And like the bull you approcah love like a bull in a china shop. Slow down, or you might end up spoiling something magical.

Gemini May 21- June 20

Mercury is finally out of it’s retrogade, but you still need to be careful. Negative forces might stunt your love life this week, try not to listen to them. They only come from jealousy.

Cancer June 21- July 22

As Celebrity Big Brother’s Kim Woodburn screamed last week ‘You adulterer!! You should be ashamed of yourself!’ If you’re not careful, she might as well have been shouting that at you. Resist temptation, being unfaithful this month will have devestating consequences..

Leo July 23- Aug 22

Leo, loud and wild. This trait will serve you well this month, particularly in the bedroom. Try not to wake the neighbours, though.

Virgo Aug 23- Sep 22

Virgo, your star sign may be virginal, but don’t let this stop you from falling in love. this week, you’re innocent and pure nature will come to the forefront. have faith, someone is thinking about you a lot more than you realise. Today Virginal, tomorrow Vir-gone-al.

Libra Sep 23- Oct 22

Loving Libra, some advice. No one cares that your boyfriend of three weeks bought you a dozen roses. Wanna know why? ‘Cos February 15th they’re 29p in Tesco. You can get them yourself (and your single friends defo will). Word.

Scorpio Oct 23- Nov 21

You may find it interesting, Scorpio, to watch the manoeuvres of those around you who’ve recently entered into relationships since September’s eclipse. Let’s face it, they’re annoying af.

Sagittarius Nov 22- Dec 21 Re-evaluating your love life at the moment, sassy Sagittarius, may be tiresome for you. Particular as you’re the Grinch of all things pink and covered in love hearts. BUT, this V-Day promises some exciting things, keep your eyes and heart open

Capricorn Dec 22- Jan 19

If there is anything you shouldn’t do this Valentine’s Day, Capricorn, is be the one thing all your friends are expecting you to be, a cliche. Yes, we know about the pizza delivery and Bridget Jones marathon you’re planning. Don’t. Do. It.

Find love in the bottom of your treb

Chris Wilkinson talks us through how master V-Day in the most Newcastle way possible


ou may be asking yourself during these trying and turbulent times whether there’s any happiness left in the world. American affairs, shatteringly hateful and depressing as they are, seem to be glaring down upon us with lidless intensity. And if what is happening over there isn’t bad enough, even in our very own country we are holding our eyes on the sky to see if our futures will drop like meteorites now that Brexit has slammed the shutters overhead. But, wait, what is that I smell? The scent of roses? And is that a pulsating heart, thumping with uncontrollable love? Wuhay, Valentines day is here! Highest among all the duties for the taken on Valentines day is the organisation of the meal. And I simply would not be being truthful to myself if I did not tell you of the best options available.

“Go and ask for a kebab sandwich - you’re guaranteed a thumbs up which will make you feel warm inside, sort of like heartburn”

Firstly, in order to dismiss what you are already thinking, do not resort to eat4less. As appetising as their kebab baguettes may be, and as thick and bulky as their slices of Bruce-Bogtrotter-like cake are, the seating is simply not conducive to the romantic airs. The wide seating on the tables may be nice if

you’re there with your friends, but with one other person it makes me feel very lonely, and you might have some giant sweaty bloke sit down next to you eating loads of mayonnaise, like I did the other day.

“I recomment nowehere more suited to this than Soho. Afterall, nothing mositurises the lip more than a blue treb”

No, the best place to go to, the place which will show the deepest thoughtfulness for your partner, is just around the corner – munchies. Let us pause for a second. Would you not be impressed if, going for a meal, your date expressed detailed and intimate knowledge of the local culinary world, articulating effortlessly to the waiter a meal which would satisfy the round variety of tastes which we, as humans, are blessed with? Well if you would, go and ask for a kebab sandwich and like I did you’ll get a really nice thumbs up which will make you feel warm inside, sort of like heartburn. Fear not, this sensation comes from a good place, but if you’re feeling cautionate, take some Gaviscon...just in case. After you’ve taken the love of your life away from this pit of loveliness, you’ll want to spend the remainder of the evening in a place which tends to an atmosphere of mutual completion and

wholeness. I recommend nowhere more suited to this than Soho. Afterall, nothing moisturises the lip and tongue more than a blue treb. The slow rhythms of the thick crowd as it sways back and forth, back and forth, will massage your bodies together in perfect romantic unity. This is, however, only for some. If your partner wishes for a place more intimate and personal, a quick walk to mono will provide both the quiet and tranquillity which is desired. The preparations for Valentines day can be troublesome and stressful, but hopefully I have given some help as how to go forward, and maybe in future you can help those in stress too.

It’s not all about the money

Is Valentine’s day too commercialised?Renee Mayor argues the case for love over money


s a woman who has both been single and in a relationship of Valentines Day, I have never seen why this one day of the year is so special. I understand that it is nice to be appreciated by your loved ones, but isn’t it so generic to only be shown an appreciation on a single day that is not in any way special from any other one of the year. Valentine’s Day, has no real significant meaning to your life in the sense, it is not a milestone, but a created commercial ploy. You are pressured by society into buying gifts and eating out, just because it is a social tradition.

“You are pressured by society into buying gifts and eating out, just because it’s a social tradition”

You have to think to yourself, are you really celebrating your personal relationship or are you be pushed into believing you are. Even the history of Valentine’s Day is obscure, clouded by many legends. For it was not until the 14th century in which Chaucer associated the Christian feast day with love. Over the centuries,

the holiday evolved, and by the 18th century, gift-giving and exchanging handmade cards on Valentine’s Day had become common in England. These handmade cards spread to the American

“Shouldn’t every day of the year have a sort of appreciation to it?” colonies but they did not become widespread until the 1850s, when Esther A. Howland, began mass-producing them. This being the first signs of commercialisation of the day of romance and love and why is became so popular. Today, of course, the holiday has become a booming commercial success. According to the Greeting Card Association, 25% of all cards sent each year are valentines. So in order for this industry to survive, our culture will continue to pressure us into believing that we need to do certain things on this day; buy chocolates, flowers, cards etc. Hence the day loses its meaning, it does not pay respect to the strength of people’s relationships, but instead every person gets lost within the industry. It must also make you think, why on one day

of the year should we be appreciated? Shouldn’t every day of the year have a sort of appreciation to it? If you argue with your significant other about the same simple things, would you prefer for both of you to work on this problem in order to make your relationship stronger; or for that one day of the year where you bury your head in the sand. Is it better to have a life partner that you appreciate every day, and to remind them of this (as life is testing), or a day which it is a commercially pushed invention? I know which one I would chose. Do not be mistaken, if you want a special day of the year to celebrate your relationship then perhaps a day like Valentine’s day is for you; as sometimes the flow

“Remind yourself what’s important: a single day or your entire relationship?”

of life can distract from the important things. Just bear in mind while your celebrating this, what is the reason for which you are doing it. Remind yourselves what is important: a single day or your entire relationship.

Aquarius Jan 20- Feb 18

All eyes are on you as the Sun passes through your sign. So down those trebs and bask in all that spot light glory, the guy you like will only become more drawn to you.

Pisces Feb 19- March 20

As one door closes, another door opens. You may be sad about a recent breakup, or a recent fuckboy, but Cupid’s fired his arrow in your direction, and this time he’s chosen you THE one.

We hope you’re lucky in love this V-Day, love your Lifestyle Eds x

! d e t t o p S

This February 14th Subway is set to give away free sandwiches to all lonely very thoughtful! As I’m sure you’ll agree, the only suitable substitute for a soulmate is a sandwich, obviously! For those of you in longterm loving relationships reading this - we know you’re considering ditching your other half to bag yourself a free sandwich...but come on, pull yourself together!

The Courier

lifestyle .17

Monday 13 February 2017 | @CourierLifestyle

The guide to spotting a f*ckboy Life hacks Whether you like it or not, the type of guy exists and you’ve more than likely come across one before. However fear not, India Copley is here to help you avoid the heartbreak


o you remember that guy you dated that was scared of commitment because his ex ‘messed with his head’, that really tried to love you but just couldn’t handle another relationship? Fuckboy. Your friend’s flatmate that really liked you but felt he was too young to really settle down, and then ‘regretted it’ and messaged you every few weeks to tell you missed you? Fuckboy. Your course-mate’s most recent crush that you have seen on the same date three days in a row with three different girls, but that thinks she’s really special and with time thinks he could really commit to her? Fuckboy.

the secret code. Well these rules have been since been adapted by girls to the dating scene for our continued protection. We know that if a guy offers you a drink you don’t accept unless you’ve seen the bartender make it. We know that if the guy says

“If a guy wants to be with a girl, he will make it happen. No matter what”

“By the time you’ve begun to notice the warning signs, they’ve already got their claws in you”

The danger with Fuckboys is that they are almost impossible to recognise at first glance. And by the time you’ve begun to notice warning signs they’ve already got their claws in you. So from the experience of one girl to another here’s how to spot a Fuckboy, and the advice to run as fast and as far away from them as you possibly can. You know when you were younger and your parents taught you to be wary of strangers; because even the nicest seeming people could be the ones to kidnap or murder you? You knew not to accept gifts from people you didn’t know, not to follow ‘nice people’ because of their cute dogs, and never to go home with a ‘friend of your mum’s’ without

He’s always going to be just a little bit too much; too good looking, too charming, too funny. This is because he’s not being genuine, he knows what you want to hear and he won’t be around long enough for you to discover it’s an act, so really he can say what he wants. He’ll tell you that the girls that randomly pop up on his phone are either clingy ex flames or just friends from his course. Keep an eye on this. If they’re not just drunk calling him, or that same name is popping up for more

he has ‘Made in Chelsea’ early on O2 priority and wants to take you home to ‘cuddle’, he’s still trying to get into your pants. But now we’re up against a new kind of threat, the Fuckboy, the classification of guy that has figured out the secret code to not only get into your bed, but also into your heart. And we’re still learning how to deal with him.

than a week, he’s giving them a reason to stay in touch. He’s been telling you he’s crazy about you for months now and you’ve met all of his friends but he’s still not calling you his girlfriend. This isn’t because he’s against labels, it’s because this way his friends won’t slip up and ask him about his girlfriend when he’s chirpsing some girl in town. To quote Alex from He’s Just Not That Into You, “if a guy wants to be with a girl, he will make it happen, no matter what”; Fuckboys talk the talk but will never follow through. So cheesy as it sounds if he’s not willing to eventually treat you like the only girl in the world, retain your self-respect and walk out of his.

How to beat the February blues Exams have been and gone and as for the Christmas buzz, that ended a lifetime ago. Grace Dean is here with some words of advice on how to make the most of this month

Verity Thomas has some wise words for you


t’s nine weeks into university and you find yourself skipping more than the morning lecture, catching the next illness, no longer attending all the societies you signed up to, and with depleting supplies in your fridge. You tell yourself you’ll start afresh, oh, tomorrow, the day after, the new year, but deep inside as the days get shorter, and much much much colder, with fewer reasons to get out of bed, you’re not quite sure you believe yourself. What you need is a life hack i.e. ‘a strategy or technique adopted to manage one’s time and daily activities in a more efficient way’. Sharing is caring so here are the ones I couldn’t live without:

Sharpening a knife on a ceramic mug You didn’t think a knife sharpener was high on your packing list for university but with five other flatmates cooking at least one meal a day, what was the dedicated ‘good’ knife has become blunt. Don’t waste time running to Tesco or calling home crying that you’re incapable of cutting a soft tomato. Instead, grab a mug, turn it upside down, run your knife at a 45° angle on the unglazed ring, and voila a sharp knife!

Use your mirror as a whiteboard Your mirror is one of the first things you see in the morning, be it to brush your hair or clean your teeth. Therefore, it is a sensible place to jot down reminders and quick notes. You’ll be sure to see these several times a day and become the organised envy of all your friends. Dry-erase markers write beautifully on glass and come off just as easily.

Contact details everywhere Ever lost a phone, your keys, your wallet, important items to you, especially after a night out? You are much more likely to get the items returned if you put your contact details on them. And even if the items are never returned you can feel comfort in knowing that you did everything you could. I use a little pill box keyring on my keys with my details (not address!) scribbled inside and a sticker on everything else. I even have a photo of me as the screensaver on my phone. (Beware of stalkers.)

Give your phone more life Keeping your phone on airplane mode saves battery, time spent charging, electricity, and means you’ll be less distracted at every notification so will be checking your phone less. Nuff said – just do it!



s we launch into February, the excitement of New Year has finally faded; the Christmas Sales have stopped, festive bakes are no more, and, despite the bitingcold winds, there isn’t a patch of snow in sight. The early months of the year can a struggle for everyone, especially in the aftermath of January exams, however there are many things you can do to add a little spark of joy into your daily life and motivate yourself through ‘til more summery times.

“Whilst having a good social life is important for your mental health, downtime is also essential ”

While you may not have set one as your New Years’ Resolution, the new calendar year is a perfect time to pick up a new hobby. With societies holding taster events through Give It a Go, the idea of sampling a new hobby seems much less daunting. NUSU has a range of societies catering for all interests, including charitable, recreational,

academic and musical societies, and the wider Newcastle community also offers facilities for an eclectic range of interests. The strong correlation between a healthy lifestyle and positive mental health is indisputable; countless researchers have proven the many benefits that healthy eating, exercise, fresh air and plenty of sleep can bring. With Grainger Market on your doorstop, offering insanely cheap prices, healthy eating has never been easier, particularly as we progress into the springtime with an increasing range of delicious seasonal fruit and vegetables. Sleep is undoubtedly important, and, whilst it may seem tempting to dedicate the post-exams weeks to Sinners, Swingers and shots, doing this on a regular basis can play havoc with your sleeping pattern, making it all-the-more difficult to wake up for your 9ams as we approach summer exam season. Whilst having a good social life is important for your mental health, downtime is also essental. Sometimes you just need to prioritise yourself and have a Lush-infused bath, hot chocolate and early night, instead of another night downing trebs and

crying because you can’t afford post-Digi chicken nuggs. A new semester means adjusting to new modules and the return of lectures. During this time it’s important to maintain regular exercise to boost motivation, concentration, and just to clear our heads.

“During this time it’s important to maintain regular exercise to boost motivation, concentration, and just to clear our heads” Even if you don’t want to join one of the Athletic Union’s sports clubs, there are many other ways to shift those post-Christmas pounds and get some fresh air; take a gentle stroll down to the Quayside or around Jesmond Dene, or go further afield and spend the day exploring round Tynemouth or Durham.

When heating leftovers make a space in the middle of your food. This heats it quicker and more evenly. As well as this, you could stir your food during cooking. Ever spent ages waiting for the defrost setting to work? Then, dip your food in water first. Water absorbs microwaves much more quickly so food will defrost faster. Note: do not do this with chicken as you might spread salmonella, and be aware it is impractical with some foods.

18. fashion

The Courier

Monday 13 February 2017

Fashion Editors: Liz Rosling, Izzi Watkins & Zofia Zwieglinska

Depop: the smarter way to shop Angus Kirk reveals the eight top Depop app accounts you NEED to be following this 2017 U

nless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ll be familiar with Depop, the Instagram-style app which allows users to browse, buy and sell clothes with ease, snagging bargains without having to rummage in charity shops. I’ve put together an edit of the best men’s and women’s clothes I could find, so you can update your wardrobe for less. Don’t worry, you can thank me later! Canary Yellow Tommy Hilfiger WaterSupreme Bralette proof Jacket with Fleece Insert @ktbethx, £42 (size UK 6 / 8) @fletch93, £70 (size medium) The fashion world has been hotly anWhy not be daring and embrace yellow ticipating Supreme’s (expensive) colthis season? It’s a key colour for spring/ laboration with Louis Vuitton, so even summer 17. Tommy Hilfiger has recentif the collection is a bit pricey for your ly brought out a jacket in a very similar student budget (£54k trunk anyone?) shade which retails for £190, so this is a you can stay on trend in this cute Sureal bargain. preme bralette.

Instagram: @uriel.bradshaw

Laura Greatrex on what fashion tips you can learn from Britain’s finest fictional damsel in distress

Oversized Vintage Striped Shirt @gemjam, £12 (size medium / large) Stripes have been popping up on catwalks all over the place courtesy of big names like Fendi and Marques’ Almeida. A timeless pattern which is bang on trend, this vintage shirt is a steal. Layer it up over a t shirt with jeans and some distressed trainers for an effortlessly edgy look for a night out at The Cut or Worldies.


Vintage Levi 511 Jeans @neverfollowtrends, £15 (W32, L32) Wider fitting denims are coming back into fashion and these 511’s are perfect if you want a jean wider than a pair of skinnies but not quite as wide as a pair of 501s. They’ll look great rolled up to an ankle-skimming length with Vans and white socks.

Patterned Grunge Jumper @tristanleonparker, £14 (size medium) This grungy, 90s jumper is a steal; with a distinctive pattern, it’s perfect for constructing a bold, grunge inspired look. Pair with Doc Martens and a pair of light wash jeans and you’ll look like you’ve stepped right out of a ‘90s music video.

Like what you see? Pop on over to our fashion writer, Angus Kirk’s depop account to get your hands on some streetwear goodies at student prices! @AngusKirk

How to feel fancy this February 14th Your Fashion Eds pick out some of the hottest high-street buys in the shops this V-Day


-Day is just around the corner. As always, the 14th of February seems to split people into three camps: those who see it as an over-commercialised, money making scam, loved-up celebrators of the occasion and those who couldn’t care less. Scam or not, for all you readers going on Valentine’s Day dates this year, the outfit you pick will undoubtedly affect how you feel throughout the date - so be sure to start thinking ahead! Owing to the number of new restaurants recently opening in Newcastle’s city centre (many offering special V-Day menus), this year we’ve focused our attention on smartcasual drinks / dinner attire. Grab inspiration from our selection of new-in and trending Topshop / Topman products, product codes and prices can be found below. Don’t worry if the items chosen aren’t something you can see yourself wearing, both Topshop and Topman have dedicated whole webpages to deal with any last-minute Valentine’s dilemmas, offering outfit suggestions appropriate for a variety of different types of dates: the mate date, the first date, Mr Cool and Casual etc. Product codes & prices: Outfit 1: 62C09KBLK £18 2. 24V14KBLK £16 3. 11CO9LRST £185 4. 62B35KMUL £65 Outfit 2: 17U01LMNK £49 2. 62TJ9KTPE £48 3. 32LO6LNUD £49 Outfit 3: 1. 84H21MGRY £30 2. 68L07KIND £25 3. 97V26MBRN £85 4. 66T34MBLK £70 Outfit 4: 56A3ONBRN £18 2. 68F010STN £30 3. 76V43MBLE £95 4. 97V26MBRN £85





3. 3. 4. “For all you readers going on Valentine’s Day dates this year, the outfit you pick will undoubtedly affect how you feel throughout the date - so be sure to start thinking ahead!’




1. 2.

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One thing we can definitely learn from Bridget is to choose our underwear wisely, however you should never be ashamed of choosing big knickers over a lacy thong. Not only are they incredibly comfortable and supportive, big pants can help to hide the food baby you acquire from over-indulging on your date at Pitcher & Piano, or the alcohol bloating you get from that one (or three) drinks you have to calm any pre-date nerves. If you’re going for a lunch or daytime date, take inspiration from the pretty pink number Bridget wears when she goes to confesses her love for Mark Darcy, a look that is both demure and flirty. A sure-fire way to capture the heart of a gentleman like Mr Darcy is by wearing a whimsical festive jumper, like the one Bridget wears to her mother’s turkey-curry-buffet. Maybe try something Valentine’s themed, or a homemade piece knitted by your Grandma, to express the warm and loving side of your personality. If you’re looking to show your crush how fun and lovable you are, and you want a cuter alternative to the playboy bunny, imitate Bridget Jones’s Baby, by donning a pair of kids fairy wings, another inevitable way of attracting the Mark Darcy in your life. My personal favourite of Bridget’s looks is when she wraps herself in a duvet and scoffs Ben & Jerry’s. Although this look is typically for singletons, those of us in a relationship can also take inspiration from Bridget by snuggling up in a blanket with our boyfriend/girlfriend to feed each other ice cream. Even though Bridget’s mistakes only serve to increase her lovability, take note that no matter how frizzy and frustrating your hair is- ironing it won’t help!

Bright Purple 80s Ski Jacket @bananaheston, £24 (size UK 10 / 12) Bright purples and pinks have been shown on catwalks from New York to Milan, so why not take inspiration from the 1980s with this multi-coloured ski jacket? It works great here with a bold zebra print skirt.


“My personal favourite of Bridget’s looks is when she wraps herself in a duvet and scoffs Ben & Jerry’s”

Red Hot Chilli Peppers Tee @ameliaissick, £15 (size x-small) Band tees are bang on trend right now, with celebs like Jessica Alba and Anne Hathaway, not to mention Instagram royalty, Kendall Jenner, rocking the trend. This Chillis tee is versatile – everyone knows that black is the new black.

Utilitarian Vintage Men’s Backpack @djtferg, £24.99 Olive-greens, khakis and durable fabrics form the basis for the utilitarian trend this season. This sturdy backpack is perfect to fit all the books you’ll need to make sure you keep up with that NYE resolution to actually do your seminar readings this term.

ram: @ rongro ng_

ridget Jones, arguably one of the funniest female protagonists to have ever existed, is also an undeniable fashion icon. It’s not just her crazy personality and embarrassing life experiences that are relatable, but her extraordinary style choices too- be that a misjudged fancy dress party or ‘genuinely tiny knickers’. Even though Bridget Jones’s Diary was released over fifteen years ago, her unique looks have stood the test of time. This Valentine’s Day, whether you’re on a date, downing trebles in Soho, chilling at home with your significant other, or watching movies with your housemates, look to Bridget for fashion inspiration and guidance. For me, Bridget’s most memorable outfit is her sexy bunny costume, complete with fishnet tights and fluffy pom-pom tail. Although recreating it is a little unoriginal (and let’s be honest, no one will look as good in this outfit as Ms Jones herself), you can easily, and cheaply, transform yourself into a saucy rabbit, undoubtedly grabbing the attention of everyone you meet. If you’re looking to wear something sexy, perhaps for a date or a night out in the city, but don’t want to go full bunny, get inspired by the LBD Bridget wears for her date with Daniel Cleaver AKA Hugh Grant. Bridget recognises that you can’t go wrong with black and demonstrates how extremely flattering and versatile this colour is. Plus, if you’re on a date, and are a clumsy person like myself, black will ensure that spilt drinks and dribbled sauces will remain your little secret. For a more formal or flashy occasion, look to Bridget’s timeless and elegant gold ball gown - just don’t copy Bridget by doing your makeup in an Uber en route!


Unlikely style icon: Bridget Jones




The Courier

fashion .19

Monday 13 February 2017

‘New year, new me’: workout wear First Lady Start the year on trend with Jaymelouise Hudspith’s favourite athleisure product picks in fashion M S otivation (of which I have none) is key to achieving your ‘new year, new me’ New Year’s resolutions. We now find ourselves in February, and if you’re anything like me getting back to the gym has proved trickier than planned. Make February count by kitting yourself out in gym wear that you feel will motivate you to finally get moving. The current athleisure trend means there’s a huge amount of choice from different brands, so I’ve put together a few personal favourites that you can find in stores and online now. H&M has some sleek sportswear in at the moment, so for starters need this charming grey tank top to push you in the right direction. Coupled with a pair of colour co-ordinated black / grey shorts and a grey bra combo, this look will give you the confidence to pull off looking like a pro, whilst remaining fiercely fashionable at the same time. Team it up with a lightweight sports hoody to battle the cold Newcastle weather (it still feels like winter after all), and if feeling brave, you’ll be equipped to run through Jesmond Dene. With free 0449656001 £19.99

standard delivery on all orders over £50, why not involve your friends and shop collectively - you’ll save money in the process and feel more motivated exercising in good company. Browse through any fashion blog or feed and see that at the moment mesh is everywhere, so why

“We now find ourselves in February, and if you’re anything like me getting back to the gym has proved trickier than planned”

not choose the functional yet fashionable material to include in your sportswear-shopping spree. For this next outfit go bold or go home. Wear this bright red and black sports bra and legging set – a statement piece fashionable enough on its own. If funds allow why not go all out and invest in Boohoo’s oversized deep mesh T-shirt? You’ll be able to get hot without the worry of visible sweat patches, although the breathable material should

help to keep you call, and if that’s not enough to persuade you – swap those leggings for some skinny jeans and you’ll be good-to-go for half of Newcastle’s nightclubs. For those of you who generally prefer taking a minimalistic approach to fashion but still would like a little dose of colour to spice up your life, head over to River Island. By pairing together this black on black combination, both of which have splashes of white and pink to break up the boring, you’ll be channelling an electric, exciting energy – just what you need to make exercising a part of your life. If you prefer to layer up, match the outfit this River Island’s plain charcoal tank top, featuring mesh panels as I mentioned before, this material is ideal for any intense workouts, and although this outfit is the most expensive of all my suggestions, it still won’t break your fashion budget, especially in comparison to that of Nike, Adidas, and all other major sporting labels. Instagram: @rongrong_devoe_illustration 687568 £18

0457196001 £8.99 688664 £14

DZ63190 £10 DZZ65998 £14

0454220006 £24.99

0440186001 £14.99

DZZ65926 £12

687805 £20

End of an era: Alexandra Shulman

Isabelle Bettany commends the career of fashion bible British Vogue’s Editor-In-Chief


ne of the biggest names in fashion, editor-in-chief of British Vogue, Alexandra Shulman, announced earlier this month that her 25year reign over the publication would come to an end later this year. Shulman began her successful career in the media at Over-21 magazine, later working at numerous publications such as; Tatler, The Sunday Telegraph, GQ magazine and finally Vogue, the job that changed the face of British fashion. If you Google Shulman, most sources corroborate in agreement that throughout her twenty five years of leadership, the magazine has gone from strength to strength. She has guided the infamous publication through the highest circulation it has ever seen, as well as establishing it as a brand that constantly evolves with the ever-changing digitalization of 21st century society. Managing director of Conde Nast Britain, (which owns British Vogue as well as many other publications such as; GLAMOUR, GQ and Vanity Fair) Nicolas Coleridge, has described Shulman as “the most successful editor of Vogue in its 100 year history”. During her time as editor, Shulman has never shied away from the controversies as well as the joys within the Fashion industry. Here are a few we think deserve to be mentioned: Celebrating Diversity: In November 2016 Shulman oversaw the execution of “The Real Issue” of Vogue. The magazine did not include a single model but encouraged the celebration of all types of women, from photographers, actors and employees at Vogue, as well as people entirely unrelated to the fashion industry. Brains over Beauty: Shulman’s interest in shift-

ing the emphasis and importance placed on beauty has frequently been expressed during her time as editor. She has previously explained that for those “whose identities are bound up in their good looks” the aging process is a terrifying ordeal and therefore we must attempt to transgress the association we have between being successful and being attractive.

“She has guided the infamous publication through the highest circulation it has ever seen, as well as establishing it as a brand that constantly evolves with the ever-changing digitalization of 21st century society”

Size zero is not a size: The size of models is an omnipresent subject within the fashion industry and yet time and time again designers continue to use models of an unattainable and dangerous size. Shulman however has frequently and publically criticized this choice, imploring designers to take accountability for the impact the inclusion of models this size has on society. More recently Shulman openly condemned the fashion houses who refused to dress size 16 model Ashley Graham, who features on their cover for the January 2017 issue. No to Diets: Shulman has repeatedly expressed her lack of inclination to include any diet plans, details and products within British Vogue. She has also ensured that nothing regarding cosmetic surgery is included within the prestigious publication, stating in an interview with the Evening Standard, ‘I really strongly believe in women being encouraged to be however they want to be, but I’m not

there to sell them the idea that they have to do artificial things to themselves or go on stringent diets to make themselves attractive. Because I don’t belive it”. If you are interested in gaining an insight into Shulman’s exclusive world, I would really recommend watching the recent BBC documentary ‘Absolutely Fashion: Inside British Vogue.’ Whilst it’s not clear as of yet who will take over Shulman (although rumours suggest it will be Emily Sheffield – Vogue’s current deputy editor, who also happens to be Samantha Cameron’s sister) what is clear is that person has some big, but fashionable nonetheless, shoes to fill.

Five of Shulman’s Top Achievements whilst Editor-In-Chief at British Vogue:

1999: The ‘millennium’ issue- Vogue’s highest selling issue - with a mirror styled cover, making it appear as though the Vogue reader is the cover star 2005: Received an OBE for her contribution to the British fashion industry 2009: Publically condemned designer brands for their extreme sample sizes 2013: Listed as one of the UK’s 100 most influential women by the BBC’s Women’s Hour 2016: Secured the Duchess of Cambridge as the cover star for Vogue’s centenary issue

Instagram: @alexandravogue

Lauren Sneath joins the designers’ debate on dressing Melania Trump

upermodel, actress, socialite, and now First Lady of the United States of America- Melania Trump has no shortage of material for her CV. One thing I’ll bet she’s never been before, however, is rejected…that is until now. Following suit with the boycott of Ivanka Trump’s multiple businesses, many high-end clothing designers have publicly refused to dress Melania over their distaste for her husband’s policies as he continues to rock the boat of world politics. Such is the anger of French designer Sophie Theallet that she wrote an open letter begging her fellow designers not to “participate in dressing or associating in any way with the next First Lady”. She explained that the “rhetoric of racism, sexism and xenophobia unleashed by her husband’s presidential campaign are incompatible with the shared values we live by” and asked designers to rally in opposition to Trump and his wife. This was met with support from many high ranking members of the fashion industry: Marc Jacobs stated that he would rather channel his energy into “helping out those who will be hurt by [Donald] Trump and his supporters”.

“Following suit with the boycott of Ivanka Trump’s multiple businesses, many high-end clothing designers have publicly refused to dress Melania over their distaste for her husband’s policies as he continues to rock the boat of world politics”

Despite the obvious positive elements to this boycott, it’s also easy to sympathize with the new FLOTUS. No one knows if she really agrees with her husband’s decisions, and yet she has been widely demonised by the press and the public. Must she fall victim, like so many others, to the antiquated yet deeply rooted idea that a woman is defined by her husband? Perhaps she is a real advocate for Donald Trump’s policies, or perhaps she loves her husband, but doesn’t share all his views. Where it is her responsibility to both support her partner and defend her own values, it is our responsibility as the public not to judge her based on the people she associates with, but to see her as a person in her own right. The idea that a woman is an extension of her husband is outdated. It is entirely unfair to limit Melania to “Donald Trump’s wife”, when, given the chance, she could be so much more. Of course, if a designer feels it unethical to dress a person who so blatantly conflicts with their personal or political persuasions, it is logical that they refuse. I personally find admirable that these designers have done so in order to take a stand against the incredibly intolerant policies of Donald Trump. However, one could question whether this refusal will have any real effect. So what if Melania has to wear dresses from the rack? It won’t affect the manner in which Donald Trump bulldozes through his four-year stint as President. Are his decisions on immigration or the refugee crisis in any way affected by the person who designed his wife a dress? Absolutely not. In the end, it comes down to personal responsibility. Designers can cooperate with the new First Lady if they so desire; seeing past the orange man she stands beside and showing her the respect she arguably deserves as a member of The First Family. On the other hand; would you sleep soundly at night, knowing you had contributed to the campaign of potentially the most dangerous President yet? Instagram: @melaniaatrump

Monday 13 February 2017

The Courier

Beauty Editors: Miranda Stoner, Ellie Trent & Ellen Walker

Yay or nay to female face shaving?

Beauty Editor Miranda Stoner takes a closer look at the arguably odd beauty trend of female face shaving


hilst bleaching the upper lip or plucking out the mono-brow is nothing new, women shaving the soft vellus hair of our faces- dermaplaning, has never come into fashion- until now. Followers of the trend claim it can brighten the skin and give it a perfect primed texture- making sure your foundation sits right. But is there truth behind the hype? Dermaplaning shaves off the top layer of skin dead skin cells and hair, also removing the build-up of dirt and oils that have accumulated there. This leaves the skin with a fresh glow and is also supposed to allow your skin to absorb products more therefore enhancing their effects, as well as reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Sounds good so far and due to the fact it relatively quick with no lasting side effects it has become more and more popular- there are currently over 12,000 pictures examples of the effects on Instagram.

“Many clinics and beauticians across the U.K. offer female face shaving on their lists of beauty procedures” Many clinics and beauticians across the U.K. offer female face shaving on their lists of beauty procedures. The treatment can vary between half an hour to three hours, every 3-4 weeks and can cost between £30 and £300. Beauticians are specifically trained and use a scalpel to shave away the hair. However, for those on a tighter budget it can be also done at your own peril over your bathroom mirror- practitioners of this moderate beauty procedure stress that for baby-soft results, you must use a sterilised single bade razor or a scalpel and follow with a rich moisturising mask. Despite the benefits it seems to offer, this and other exfoliating routines aren’t a perfect way to achieve a flawless air-brushed face. For those who have sensitive or dry skin this can cause the skin on your face to peel, as the area becomes more exposed to the elements. On the other end of the spectrum, for those with oily or acne prone skin, this treatment can make your skin greasier and therefore more prone to spots because it removes the hairs which soak up excess oils. Moreover, there are plenty of alternatives on the high street that can be tested first on the back of the hand before committing them to your face. For example, THE BODY SHOP Drops of youth liquid peel (£18), which reduces the dead top layer of your skin to dust in one gentle wash. Just make sure to use it no more than once a week and to always follow with a rich moisturiser to keep skin

Kylie’s kissable collection Lois Johnston dishes the dirt on Kylie Jenner’s latest collection and talks us through her first impressions of the long awaited products launched especially for February 14th


o last week saw the long anticipated release of Kylie Jenner’s (KylieCosmetics’) new Valentine’s day collection. I have to admit I didn’t buy any of the collection as I am currently very poor, which is a shame because all pink everything is my favourite kind of make-up range. However, I can give my first impressions on the collection, and compare them to the items of the Christmas collection which I bought about two months ago. First of all, let’s address the brand new products which Kylie has brought out for the first time ever in this collection: blushers. Compared to liquid lipsticks, blushers aren’t as difficult a formula to create, and so I can’t see how she can go too far wrong with these, especially as she has such a pigmented, good quality eyeshadow formula. The pink and the orange are quite simple, fail safe colours to begin with, as they suit most skin colours and aren’t very daring. However, I predict that in her next release she will come out with more, hopefully more daring, unusual colours of blushes. I also predict that the next product she’ll lend her hand to will be highlighters!

“If you have never tried anything of Kylie’s before and you aren’t sure which colour will suit you best, the minis are the best place to start”

Obviously, it’s not a surprise that for this collection, like all of her other limited editions, she has brought out the mini liquid lipsticks. In my opinion, if you have never tried anything of Kylie’s before and you aren’t sure which colour will suit you best, the minis are the best place to start. There is a pretty good amount of product in each and you have the choice of six colours so can try a range

@Kyliecosmetics The other part of the collection is the eyeshadows. I understand the idea behind the mini eyeshadow duos, which she is bringing out for the first time this time, but I have never been a person to just buy individual eyeshadows and so I feel I would much prefer the palette. I feel the colours in the palette will suit all skin tones, but mostly darker and deeper ones as they are very rich colours. This is also, I would say, the most daring selection of colours she has brought out yet in an eyeshadow palette. In my opinion this palette will appeal more to the avid kyliecosmetic fans and the everyday make up wearer would probably get more use out of her burgundy or bronze eyeshadow palette.

In conclusion, after my own experience and having followed a lot of blogger and other key beauty figures’ opinions on the brand, I think that it is certain you are paying for Kylie’s name on a lot of the products.

“I think that the majority of the products are well priced for the quality and amount of product you get”

Having said this, I think that the majority of the products are well priced for the quality and amount of product you get. As an example, if you were to buy a lip liner and liquid lipstick from MAC, it would cost you more than Kylie’s lip kit – the only drawback to ordering from Kylie Cosmetics is that on top of having to shell out a lot of money for it to be shipped internationally, there is also a hefty import tax to pay before you can pick it up from your post office – so beware!


It’s time to show Bobbi Brown some love Sian Dickie tells us why Bobbi Brown should receive every girl’s heart this Valentine’s


obbi Brown is probably one of the most well-known and established makeup brands of the past 25 years. The American company has been built on a philosophy of natural looking beauty by its namesake and CEO Bobbi Brown herself. While many makeup brands such as Urban Decay and MAC focus on the ‘more is more’ concept, the Bobbi brand have managed to stay true to the message which made the brand so loved. Like many who have been experimenting with makeup since a young age, Instagram and YouTube haven’t always been around to educate us on the perfect contour and on fleek highlight. One Christmas however, I remember receiving the ‘Bobbi Brown: Beauty Rules’ book. This book showed me how to get the perfect soft eyeliner without the need for blue frosted eyeshadow and how skin care is the basis to getting a flawless complexion first, without foundation (even if I can’t go without it now).

“To keep your skin glowing, it is important not to use too many harsh chemicals or exfoliate too often”

balanced and healthy. Another great product is the PIXI Glow Tonic (£18). It is used like a toner after cleansing to removes dead skin and brighten the face. As well as exfoliating, this product also contains hydrants to keep the skin moist and soft. It can be used up to twice a day due to its gentle nature. Or for a more student loan friendly alternative the SIMPLE Kind to Skin Soothing Toner (£3.29 at Boots) is a safe option for all skin types. Ultimately, skin health is more affected by your daily routine than the occasional facial procedure. To keep your skin glowing, it is important not to use too many harsh chemicals or exfoliate too often. Also maintaining a balanced diet and moisturising regularly. Furthermore, dermatologist Nick Lowe stresses the importance of preventing skin damage through the use of “sun protection every day you can remember to. Use either SPF 15 or 20 on a normal day and if you’re out for extended time or going overseas go up to SPF 30.”

without paying full price for them all! The only drawback is that often, because the colours are so unique, there is no lip liner in a similar colour which means that you have to have a very steady hand when applying these.

“My most treasured of Brown’s products has to be the Gel eyeliner - nothing else has come close”


The most useful lesson I learnt from the book though, was why its not necessarily important to pluck your brows to look like tiny caterpillars. I mean, I never knew that Cara Delevingne was going to bring thick eyebrows back and all I wanted to do was look like Gwen Stefani! Probably one of her most famous products and one of my favourites is the Creamy Concealer. Although its on the more pricey side at £19.50, it comes in a range of shades to fit all skin tones and as the name suggests, is easily blendable for undereye concealing and hiding those dark circles after a long night out! My most treasured of Brown’s products has to be

the Gel eyeliner - nothing else has come close. A staple of my everyday makeup look, I’ve tried lots of eyeliners in the past, from brands like Revlon to Charlotte Tilbury. The Bobbi Brown eyeliner doesn’t smudge throughout the day, yet is easy to remove after a long day of lectures, definitely a good investment piece if you’re feeling fancy!

“Bobbi’s collections are still able to rival newer brands such as Kylie Jenner’s or Lipstick Queen ”

Since I am a total lipstick junkie, I have to mention my favourite Bobbi Brown lipstick which is apart of the Creamy Matte lip range. The shade ‘Tawny Pink’ is a go to nude pink-brown for me, perfect for date night or going on a day out as the wear is pretty long-lasting. However now I’ve managed to get one of Kylie Jenner’s lip kits, it has a bit of competition with Posie K. Bobbi’s collections are still able to rival newer brands such as Kylie Jenner’s or Lipstick Queen. As despite stepping down from the brand on its anniversary, the Chicago native decided to release her original shades of matte lipstick which made her most famous. The collection which includes 10 different colours, has serious 90s vibes, with reds and browns being most notable out of the range for their retro appearance. Of course more neutral tones are also available for people like me who don’t want a fuss every morning attempting to get a perfectly clean crimson lip. What I find so underrated about Bobbi Brown as a brand, is that while many makeup companies are trying to encourage everyone to hide themselves and their ‘imperfections’ with full coverage makeup and over the top lip lining, Brown’s message remains true that it is better to “Be who you are.”

The Courier

beauty 21.

Monday 13 February 2017 Instagram @courier_beauty | Twitter @CourierBeauty

Vamp up your Valentine’s

Sally Mu’s perfect gift ideas list for those with partners passionate about all things beauty


nother Valentine’s Day is upon us, but are you tired of the same old routines of chocolate hearts, flowers, fine wine and dinner? With so many inventive ways to impress your valentine, how can you do just the same every year? Here are some special beauty selections to help you stray from the cliche V-Day gift ideas.

For Him

Ive picked up 3 most vibrant and iridescent glitter pigments that are sure to tug at her heartstrings on the night of Feb 14th. Grown-up glitter is the most surprising makeup trend to sweep the board at the SS17 and recently loved by numerous bloggers and beauty gurus alike.

“Its versatility allows you to either dust flicks of subtle glisten to enhance features, or to load up the sparkles for an ultimate extra-dramatic party statement”

ids-inspired runway look. The result? Absolutely gor geous! With astonishing staying power they’ll stick pretty well to the face so not as much fallout as others. Alternatively, if she’s more into perfumes, I’ve got the perfect suggestion for you. In addition to the obligatory rose bouquet, why not be sure to surprise your sweetheart with a fabulously Orange Blossom Colognes from Jo Malone. This is the scent that will shake up her fragrance wardrobe like no other. One of the things I love most about this summer perfume is that it’s a very simplistic and distinctive one without a whole bunch of layered notes, just simply a crisp, mood-lifting and super refreshing citrusy scent with a little hint of jasmine finish. A spritz of this in the morning, and you’ll feel like stepping into an oasis garden heaven—luxurious but not stuffy, pleasant, natural and warm all at once. Overall, this wonderfully memorable scent is great for layering and it’s a go-to for daytime!

“It opens up with unmistakable fresh aquatic and divine citrusy notes, then dries down with a mixture of clean musk and cedar aroma” This timeless magic water is fused with luminous Cascalone and Paradisone for added sensuality, making it wears down smooth and intensely carnal that can’t keep your hands off your man. It’s totally an inoffensive nose-pleaser with marine freshness and woody finish without overpowering anyone, which can be worn for all occasions. Plus, the marvellous smell won’t fade away until the next day! This is the luxe and sensual cologne he’ll surely get everyone compliments on. But just remember not to wear this on a date as you’d run the risk of bringing up bad memories for her as this extremely popular among guys! (Left) ACQUA DI GIÒ ESSENZA, 75ml , £68 (Right): Jo Malone London Orange Blossom Cologne, 40ml, £86

MAC’s finely milled glitter it’s incredibly wearable and sophisticated, making it perfect for creating gorgeous modern looks. Especially these show-stopping 3D holographic shades sparkle like diamonds and can be dotted over lips, eyes, cheeks, hair, even ears (no piercing necessary) or wherever else you want to glam up. Its versatility allows you to either dust flicks of subtle glisten to enhance features, or to load up the sparkles for an ultimate extra-dramatic party statement. How to dazzle now? They’re pretty quick and easy to use, simply mixing a smattering of these glitters into gloss or lash glue, and paint to the socket line for disco-chic lids, or delicately coat your lips with them to recreate the beautifully flattering Had-

Products (L-R) 3D PINK, Baby pink shade with holographic effect, £16. RED, Vibrant shimmering chunky red, £16. 3D LAVENDER, Blue tone lavender shade with holographic effect, £16.

For Her

If you really stuck for gift ideas and want to get him something he’s guaranteed to use everyday, think about treating your guy the iconic Acqua Di Giò Essenza. It serves as the most coveted manly gift for V-Day and he’ll be thrilled to open it! Designed with a nicely weighted glass bottle, a pretty decent and solid cap, and a very powerful sprayer that gives out just the right amount of juice. It opens with unmistakable fresh aquatic and divine citrusy notes, then dries down with a mixture of clean musk and cedar aroma.

The best of the beauty buy bargains Sally Mu on her highstreet beauty baes and why they are her number one go-to-products


absolutely love highstreet makeup, as they offer racks and racks of affordable products that allow us to indulge ourselves without stressing the budget. Here I’ve listed the best products of the bunch, these are the game-changers I swear by and stay in my makeup bag as staples: Foundation: Revlon ColorStay™ Makeup Foundation £9.99 My top pick is the iconic Revlon ColorStay Foundation, which is a newly improved foundation that’s immensely popular among beauty gurus. This beauty hero comes up with a handy messfree pump and available in 35 true-to-skin shades designed for every skintone and type. The highlight of this product is its phenomenal long-wearing coverage that can be easily build up to medium or full coverage without any caking throughout the day, and also makes any dark bits and eye bags instantly less visible. Nevertheless, it infused with a special oil-control formula that works wonders especially on combination and oily skins, to help control shine for a lightweight and premium semi-matte finish without feeling greasy. It’s also an excellent choice for normal and dry skins as it offers perfectly even, smooth yet truly healthy-looking complexion that will last you all day and night—An absolutely amazing foundation with great value for money and perfect for everyday wear. Eye Brow Kit Benefit brow zings brow shaping kit £24.50 Another drug store trusty is the renowned allin-one brow kit from Benefit and it’s an amazing staple I can’t live without. This genius product is packed with a mirror, a lighter setting powder, a darker tacky shaping wax, mini slant tweezers for

plucking easy stray-hair emergencies, and dualsided extendable applicator—A total kit with everything you need to sculpt, shape and fill brows. Trust me, it’s pretty simple to get the hang of it. For the pigment duo, they come in with 6 easyto-choose shades that work with multiple hair types, and you’ll definitely find the perfect match within the range. I found both go on very smoothly and a lot easier to apply with the comfortable sized brushes provided. The pigment wax is quite thick and creamy which works as a base for the powder to ‘stick’ on to, while the powder fills and sets brows. It dries out very easily and stays snug on the brows with major staying power. All in all, I love everything about product! I would highly recommend this portable kit as it’s an ideal piece of investment for girls on the go, to carry and use it anywhere! If you are looking for a perfect brow kit then this one is for you. Lip Balm: Maybelline Baby Lips Vitamins Melon Mania £2.99 When it comes to lip balm, I wear the Maybeline Baby Lips Vitamins Lip Blam [Melon Mania] EVERY DAY. It’s my firm favourite essential that loaded with ridiculously hydrating and ultra nourishing vitamins and a formula to leave your lips looking and feeling soft and intensively moisturised in winter. Especially when your lips are dry, there’s probably nothing more satisfying or as effective as a glide of this—It really is amazing at healing the comprised and needy lips as it enhances your lip’s ability to stay quenched and conditioned. Plus, It smells and feels really refreshing, you’d marvel over the watermelon scent and the balm’s flattering corally pink is guaranteed to boost your mood. The best part about this product is the amazing day-long moisturising power that impressed me a lot.

Calling all single ladies

Susanne Norris discusses the best beauty Valentine’s gifts on the market for singletons


s someone who is going to spend this Valentines alone (pass the tissues, woe is me) I must say I’ve been trying to distance myself from the hype surrounding Valentines. However, given pretty much every shop has had their Valentines gifts available since Boxing day this distancing has been a little bit harder than I imagined. But then, this wondrous idea struck me. If I was in a relationship, I’d be buying presents for a partner, yes? So this year, as a ‘thank you’ for being so amazing, I am going to buy presents for myself. Have I reached crazy cat lady territory? Probably. Do I care? Definitely not. So without further ado here’s a list of beauty products I would be thrilled to treat myself to; beauty products that are better than a Valentine. 1. Too Faced ‘Sweetheart Blush’, Debenhams, £24 At least I’m sticking to the Valentine’s theme. This gorgeous blush doesn’t let down the expectation we all have of Too Faced packaging, it comes in a beautiful heart shape. As for the blush colours themselves, there is one for most skin-tones. Try the lighter pinks in the ‘Something about Berry’ colour option of this blush for paler skin, whilst the corals in ‘Peach Beach’ work a wonder on darker skin. These will make you blush more than your crush ever could. 2. Lime Crime ‘Velvetine Liquid Lipsticks’, ASOS, £12 Lime Crime have done it again with these super glossy lipsticks. ASOS stock shades of pink, red and purple but if you’re feeling more adventurous log onto Beauty Bay for some popping orange, nude and even blue and green shades. The liquid lipstick is long-lasting and the colours are to die for. As for the packaging? Well it’s covered in pink and red roses of course. So, my question is, why have real roses when you can gaze at the beautiful packaging of a new lipstick? 3. Lush ‘Cupid Bath-Bomb’, Lush, £2.95 Why have all the stress of Valentine’s when you could have a relaxing bath instead? This bathbomb is heart shaped and will turn the water pink, so makes your bath look super cute for all those aesthetic Instagram pictures you know you’re going to take. As there will be loads of Instagram pictures of couples taking baths together and drinking bottles of champagne your pink bath s guaranteed to look cuter. Plus, why share that bottle of champagne when you can drink it all yourself! 4. No7 ‘Velvet lash Mascara’, Boots, £13.50 Rule No.1 for seducing anyone ever, flutter your eyelashes. This amazing mascara offers volume and length, all whilst making your lashes look natural and soft, not clumpy. Apply a few layers of this and you’ll have lashes that will almost knock someone over when you give a little flutter. Moreover, the gold packaging serves as a constant reminder you are an absolute queen, and deserve to treat yourself as much as anyone else this Valentines. 5. Body Shop ‘British Rose Fresh Pluming Mask, Body Shop, £16 They say that love makes the skin glow. However, I find face-masks more reliable for this. A firm favourite is this one from Body Shop, which offers to help ‘skin that needs to be quenched and replumped with moisture to reveal its dewy glow’. I mean come on, who can say no to a ‘dewy glow’! Couple this with the fact it smells of roses and it becomes the perfect Valentines treat.

@Emily Cox on Flickr

22. arts

Monday 13 February 2017

The Courier

Arts Editors: Tamsin Daisy Rees, Jonathan Hastings & Meg Holtom


The weekly showcase of Newcastle University talent

KITTY MARIE POET My Unconditional Love To You There are many ways that I could express my unconditional love to you, But since we are torn apart by time and you are taken I shall have to queue. First sighting I was in love, from then on I fall to your every move. As you and I know the famous saying goes, If you should say jump I should ask how high. If I have to I will wait an eternity for you, And never stop searching for the time you say yes.

Send your selfies to NASA

Our favourite Arts Writers discuss The Saatchi Gallery’s next exhibition: selfies as artwork.


Carys Rose Thomas


he human form has been the subject of art for centuries, yet the moment people are the ones making art based around their own form, it’s called vanity. I’m a big supporter of how technological advancements have moulded our society - from the ‘crying laughing emoji’ being heralded as the word of the year by the OED, to the birth of selfies. Hence, the Saatchi gallery’s selfie exhibition is of great interest to me.

“The exhibition is a historical timeline of self potraits and one’s expression of oneself, so why on earth shouldn’t selfies be featured?” I can understand people’s outrage at the gallery exhibiting selfies and calling them art. After all, Van Gogh’s self portraits took far more time to paint than it took Obama to tap his iPhone screen to snap a selfie with David Cameron at Mandela’s memorial service. However, I believe that selfies can still be seen as an art regardless of how much effort may go into the taking of them.


Sophie Schneider


he exhibition suggests that with smartphones, we can channel our inner creativity and self-expression by snapping a selfie and uploading it to social media. To a certain extent, there is creative allowance with selfies: one can alter the composition, overexpose, under-expose, employ a black and white or a sepia filter, or even super-impose a dog tongue and ears to the photo. It can be an ego-boost: if you’ve just been dumped, you can upload a cracking selfie, rack in all 108 likes and feel like Beyoncé. I am usually an ambassador for a bit of self-promotion to help your confidence, but is this - let’s face it, narcissism - an art form?

If I be the rose you be the stone If you be Romeo let me be Juliet But if we break I would “Are these vulnerable pieces of self-expression petrify For you are not my other half but my all, And love is just a word compared to how much I adore you.

Want to see more? Facebook: Marie’s Fiction Twitter: @MarieFiction

even mildly comparable to Kim Kardashian’s shallow, self-obsessed bathroom selfie?”

The more traditional art-form of selfportraits - Van Gogh and Frida Kahlo’s being examples of this - reveal the true emotions of the artists; they are not examples of self-promotion, but of self-expression. Kahlo’s self-portraits reveal her physiological and physical suffering, as she was rendered immobile in her chair; her paintings depict her grieving process of her infertility and of her husband’s unfaithfulness. Gogh’s self-portraits similarly expose his suffering, as they portray the journey of his mental-illness; his Self Portrait with Straw Hat to Self Portrait with Bandaged Ear show

Selfies are a form of self-expression, which perfectly capture how modern technologies such as camera phones and social media - allow people to be the authors of their own identities and express themselves however they choose to through what they post online etc. The selfie is one way in which people express themselves

“The concept of the ‘selfie’ and the words itself has been legitimised to the extent that it has been added to the OED, so why not add it to our art galleries?” - is that not what all self-portraits are about? The exhibition also isn’t just a showing of lots of modern selfies. It features artists like Tracey Emin and Van Gogh. The exhibition is a historical timeline of self portraits and one’s expression of oneself, so why on earth shouldn’t selfies be featured? If the exhibition is to truly show a timeline of different self portraits, it’d be a crime not to include some. The gallery is renowned for its controversial art - such as Richard Wilson’s ‘20:50’ which is essentially a room filled with oil. If contemporary art is simply ‘the art of today’, then surely something like selfies which are both extremely popular in modern society, as well as heavily controversial deserve to appear in the gallery. The concept of the ‘selfie’ and the words itself has been legitimised to the extent that it has been added to

his transition to the self-inflicted suffering of his mutilated ear. Are these vulnerable pieces of selfexpression even mildly comparable to Kim Kardashian’s shallow, self-obsessed bathroom selfie?

“Selfies do not expose raw self-expression that the self-portraits do, but instead promote a fake happiness”

The Kardashian’s selfies are not creative, they are just full-blown examples of self-glorification; they are also tangled up in a web of promoting products such as a Waist-Training Corset which endorse the unhealthy obsession of retaining an unrealistic waist the size of a starving 10-year-old. Selfies

the OED, so why not add it to our art galleries? I am a firm believer that pretty much anything can be presented as art if the apt amount of thought is put into the work. People so willing to label a urinal as a piece of art but Kim K’s selfies as trash. I believe that the act of putting anything up in an art gallery changes people’s perspective on it. Instead of merely looking at things as mundane objects or images seen on a daily basis, people begin to look for what’s special about these

“If a selfie is seen as something beautiful and creative and an art, rather than a little slice of megabytes and vanity, we can see ourselves and others depicted in selfies as beautiful works of art too”

things and learn to appreciate them in a new light. When considering selfies in this respect, I think a strong connection can be made between self-portraits and self-love. If a selfie is seen as something beautiful and creative and an art, rather than a little slice of megabytes and vanity, we can see ourselves and others depicted in selfies as beautiful works of art too. When has that ever been a bad thing? Do you have an opinion on this topic? Look out for this article on and be sure to leave a comment!

do not expose raw self-expression that the selfportraits do, but instead promote a fake happiness. You may post a photo taken a few days ago when you had access to the right lighting and a good mascara, when you currently feel like hungover as shit, resisting the urge to suddenly throw up all over your friendly neighbour on the metro. One of the selfies exhibited is of Obama and Cameron at Mandala’s funeral. It physically pains me to criticise Obama, but I can’t help but think that the cheesy-grin pose demeans the human condition; it takes the attention away from where it should be, from grieving an incredible world leader, and instead promotes the triviality of leaders doing a ‘thumbs-up’.

“Let’s leave the selfies at home, and with it our jealously of Kim’s round bum, and actually enjoy the process of looking at pieces of self-expression that reveal the emotions of the artist”

Much like a selfie, which celebrities often use to endorse certain products, the exhibition itself is teamed up with the mobile brand Huawei. There is to be a #SaatchiSelfie competition where the winner receives a Huawei phone: when did galleries become as materialistic as Kim Kardashian? Let’s leave the selfies at home, and with it our jealousy of Kim’s round bum, and actually enjoy the process of looking at pieces of self-expression that reveal the emotions of the artist.

The Courier

arts .23

Monday 13 February 2017 | Instagram: @CourierArts

North-East Picks of the Week Mare Nostrum BALTIC.




efore I was even fully aware what the ‘How to be healthy women in activism’ workshop entailed, I was pretty positive from the name alone that it was an event I wanted to go to. One of my favourite things about Alyssa Harris’ workshop was her tangible passion for women’s rights. There is something very inspiring about listening to someone so passionate about their cause speak with such ease about it. Her own passion motivated me to tap into the same passion I feel and try to channel it into some constructive activism.


isappearance at sea- Mare Nostrum (our sea in Latin) at the BALTIC is the most thought provoking and relevant exhibition I have seen in a long time. It really does move all of your deepest emotions; empathy, hate and anger. The exhibition is on the ground floor, and although it is only three rooms it really does make an impact, especially in light of current affairs.

“Mare Nostrum is interactive, making viewers actively think about what migration would be like for themselves and the difficulties they would have to face”

The exhibition confronts viewers of the journeys undertaken by migrants and refugees across the Mediterranean Sea. Mare Nostrum is interactive, making viewers actively think about what migration would be like for themselves and the difficulties they would have to face. Both the mixed mediums of artwork and the different artists raise awareness of how this problem is a global problem not something that we as world citizens can turn our head away from. Disappearance at sea, contrary to widespread and highly politicised commentary in the media, shows how the refugees from the Middle East are not moving to the UK or countries in Northern Europe.

“In the words of Stalin, “A single death is a tragedy; a million deaths is a statistic” but by making the exhibition so personal we cannot ignore that these are real people’s lives”

In contrary Syrian migrants are moving to neighbouring Jordan and Turkey, in order to seek refuge and safety there. The exhibition highlights that this is the biggest exodus of people in our lifetime, and that whether we offer help or not, they are still going to migrate away. It suggests that by helping we are making the journey both safer and easier for these people to do. Demanding that we should not watch passively, as so many of us our doing, due to the desensitisation of the media numbers and reports. In the words of Stalin “A single death is a tragedy; a million deaths is a statistic” but by making the exhibition so personal we cannot ignore that these are real people’s lives. Amnesty International has an interactive desk that allows viewers to sign campaigns to raise awareness and to encourage our governments to believe that it is their responsibility. Renee Mayor

“I think that the workshop would have benefitted from taking all the motivational energy is sparked in its participants and flagging up things they can get involved with in Newcastle” One criticism of the workshop - which I can understand was hard to make work - was that Harris helped you identify what type of activist you are, but not where to go from there. I think the workshop would have benefitted from taking all the motivational energy it sparked in its participants and flagging up things they can get involved with in Newcastle. However, nonetheless the workshop was an inspiring two hours and has filled me with feminist-fuelled motivation to get out there and go do some good. Carys Rose Thomas

16 February

UNDOING EXHIBITION Gallery North Project Space @ 18.00

16 February

MiLAN Collective Film Festival: Untouchable David Shaw Lecture Theatre @ 18.00-22.00

18 February

OPEN STUDIOS The Newbridge Project @ 19.00-23.00


“There is something very inspiring about listening to someone so passionate about their cause speak with such ease about it”

Harris’ philosophy on how to be healthy women in activism reminded me of the MyersBriggs personality test. It broke activism down into 8 different ‘types’ of people within activism, such as an archetypical activist (The Agitator) as well as types of people I had never considered before such as The Councillor. This system highlighted that to be involved in activism you don’t need to be an in-yourface shouty goes-to-every-march loud activist (although we do need some of these guys). There are many other roles within the systems surrounding activist work that people can be a part of. Harris’ system is a great comfort to me because it encouraged me to think about activism in a different way, and to consider what my natural abilities best tailor to. It motivated me to get more involved in activism in the ways that most suit me.




1. Snog/Marry/Kill in the last classic you read


pstein’s exhibition comprises of mixed media collages, and installation, unified perhaps by kitsch or more simply their bizarreness. In the room of installations stacked chairs teeter, threatening to fall and crush the flowers made of foam, wire and fly-swatters which sprout out of them. The bright hues thus do not suggest cheer but give a jarring, ominous sense. The fly-swatters are not amusing but defensive, they await danger we cannot see. This sense of discord highlighted as the piece sits in a room with walls painted with jagged patterns in lurid hues. All but one, on which hang posters of kittens overlaid with threatening words. In the next room hang the collages. Again lurid, again using stark pattern, layering clashing kitsch on kitsch.

The last classic I read was William Gibson’s ‘Neuromancer’, which is a cyberpunk triumph! I think I’d snog Molly Millions (if she didn’t kill me first), marry Lady 3Jane because in my own weird way I’d probably enjoy all of the weird eccentric shit she gets up to in Straylight, and kill Armitage because I mean I don’t want to spoil it, but that guy’s all wacked up in a way that no love could fix. 2. An unlikely but excellent ship? I feel like Charlie Kelly and Frank Reynolds is a totally unsung ship that people need to set sail on. He pukes blood and womps rats in the dark, Frank is a 60-year-old man who eats garbage. He is the trash man! I mean, they already play Night Crawlers in their apartment so they’re half way there. I wonder how much Charlie’s troll toll is?

“It retains a certain amusement making the works accessible, encouraging you to linger long and tease of their details”

3. Who is your top number one dreamboat classic valentine?

“This accounts for the mood of the piece - there is a sense of a threat, there is certainly danger, we are indeed, like the chairs, teetering on the edge and all may fall at any moment”

4. What classic would be the worst valentine’s gift?

The title comes from a comment of a war journalist, working just below gunfire. This accounts for the mood of the piece- there is a sense of a threat, there is certainly danger, we are indeed, like the chairs, teetering on the edge and all may fall at any moment. But while we teeter there is an undercurrent of fun. This tone refers to the state of the LGBTQ+ community in the United States. No one knows what is coming, and the danger is undeniable. Others have fallen and we probably will too but fear will not be allowed to dominate. We must enjoy the colours and the fun while it lasts.

I’d probably give them Love is a Dog from Hell by Bukowski. It’s just full of really honest, bordering on gross poems about love and sex written by some crusty old dude. He comes across as a bit of a lowlife, but he has this strange enduring appeal. Reading it is like picking scabs... To be honest, it might actually come back to bite me if they were into it, but I’m willing to take the risk just to see the reaction.

The overall effect is not, however, violent. It retains a certain amusement making the works accessible, encouraging you to linger long and tease out their details. The reward for those who do is the opportunity to appreciate the small surprises in the harmonies between the sections, and the happiness in being able to block out the world and lose yourself, momentarily, in almost childlike patterns in familiar media.

Helena Buchanan

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You’re going to hate me Tamsin, but It’s gonna have to be Albert Camus. That guy is effortlessly cool. His trenchcoat wearing, smoking aesthetic just gets to me. I’d date him to hang on to each of his gorgeous French metaphors. Let him wax lyrical about Absurdist Philosophy to me all day long. At this point, I may as well cradle The Myth of Sisyphus every night before I go to sleep, so the pairing makes sense. He has this way of writing so in tune with his own senses that everything he describes just comes to life as soon as the words hit your brain. Philosophy’s James Dean, if you will (he even died unexpectedly in a car crash!)

That’s a tough one. I’d say avoid anything by Nietzsche… Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged would be hilarious, simply because of how big it is. Here’s 1168 pages of dense, foreboding political philosophy… good luck carrying that around in your backpack, and the recesses of your brain! 5. What classic would you give to someone for them to get the hint that you’re not that into them?

24. music

Monday 13 February 2017

The Courier

Music Editors: Sophie Ahmed, Serena Bhardwaj & Ben Grundy

The Fresh Prince of Spotify Toon In

Sophie Ahmed gives us the lowdown on her band and Club Underground


his column functions to uphold Newcastle’s somewhat wavering live music scene – a purpose that I like to think I’ve shared as of late. I’ve been in a band since I came to uni 2 and a half years ago, but we’re only really taking off now. I got talking to lead singer Seb on a ‘Freshers’ Bands’ Facebook page before we arrived in Newcastle, and soon met drummer Jack through a first year flatmate. If you’re going to start a band, university is the place to do it as it’s easy to seek out people with common interests. Why, then, are there so few student bands in Newcastle? Why does it take so long to get off the ground, and what is the local scene doing to help? As someone directly affected by these struggles, let me tell you.

“Let’s allow the Toon’s prolific club culture to pump life into its live music scene” The answer to the first question could be that live music involving ‘real’ instruments is overshadowed by club culture in Newcastle. There is a constant tension between the two, fighting for the limelight. If you need a visual metaphor, just step back and take a look at the layout of our music section. Here on your left you have a column concerned with plucking strings and hitting tins and on the right we have ‘Electronic Blanket’, promoting sounds made by pressing buttons. I don’t mean to undermine the wonderful writing of our contributors but for the purposes of this metaphor let’s just say everything in between the two columns represents a void. Why should the two forces not come together? Let’s allow the Toon’s prolific club culture to pump life into its live music scene. The great guys of Gigs North East are doing exactly this with their new monthly night ‘Club Underground’ which I had the pleasure of opening with my band Face Wax Twins at its launch. It’s a clever tactic – using the word ‘club’ to appeal to the student masses and encourage them to dance to bands instead of DJs. Following the format of a regular club night, Club Underground kicks off at 10pm, taking place at Think Tank Underground and offering cheap £3 entry alongside decent drinks deals. This works a treat because irregular sleeping patterns at uni have turned people against the concept of leaving the house for a gig at the regular time of 7pm – we’re all like 3 hours behind normal time, right? The place was rammed when we played and the crowd even started a mosh pit, proving that students do enjoy live music – it just needs to be marketed in the right way.

Starting a band at uni is a struggle, but you’ve got to make the most of whatever resources you can. We might have to compromise and collaborate with the club scene to get anywhere in a band, but that’s something I’m willing to do because Club Underground worked. I almost gave up on my dream of playing bass in a band and bought decks because I thought dropping basslines at house parties would be a satisfactory alternative. But I’m glad these are now collecting dust in the corner of my room whilst my bass guitar is freshly-strung and in constant use after its gig debut. Having someone come up to you and say ‘you’ve inspired me to play bass guitar’ is more rewarding than having someone say, ‘I love that Deep House track you played!’, mostly because no one usually cares about the bass but also because they’re complimenting your own craft, not just your appreciation of someone else’s, no matter how passionate that might be. Living like sardines in closely-packed Jesmond terrace houses means that rehearsing is a constant battle with your neighbours, but Newcastle students are lucky to have Little Buildings on the Quayside – a soundproof and affordable haven fully equipped with everything a band could need, and nights like Club Underground providing gig opportunities.

Robyn Wainwright discusses whether Prince’s music becoming available on Spotify is a benefit to the music industry and debates the morality of post-death legal suits over music


ver since Prince embraced the internet, albeit late in his career, Tidal has been the sole occupier of the majority of his catalogue. Following Prince’s death, fans had to scramble all across the internet to legally stream his music; months later, Tidal added 15 more Prince albums to its large collection (though the rights to these albums have been contested by those now controlling Prince’s estate). Billboard reports that Prince’s music could arrive on both Spotify and Apple Music sometime this month, though an exact date is still unknown. In November of last year, Prince’s estate focused on a wider streaming arrangement by signing a publishing deal with Universal Music for the publishing of his entire catalogue.

sic culture, and allow his undeniable talent to be appreciated by all generations. However, there is reason to be tentative. During the latter years of his career, Prince had ample opportunity to allow Spotify access to his music and chose not to. He had even previously damned Spotify on his Twitter account stating that “Spotify is co-owned by record labels, who hold 20 percent of the company’s stocks” when supporting Taylor Swift’s withdrawal from Spotify.

“This simple move will allow Prince’s music to become a staple part of all young people’s music culture”

“The purple on the advertisement suggests Prince’s music will be coming to Spotify very soon”

Bloomberg also states that the late icon’s representatives are “closing in” on deals with the streaming giants ahead of the Grammys on February 12th. The US awards ceremony is reportedly considered to be a “great promotional opportunity” for Prince’s back catalogue because a form of tribute is expected to feature in the show. An article in NME magazine commented that, ‘Spotify appeared to tease the return of the musician to its streaming library by running adverts featuring its logo bathed in purple in Manhattan’. A very traditional and subtle way of advertising, the purple on the advertisement suggests a strong indication that Prince’s music will be coming to Spotify very soon. The ads appeared in Union Square subway station Monday morning featuring

only the colour purple and the Spotify logo adding fire to the already existing speculations. Spotify have declined to comment to multiple magazines including Vulture. The anticipated increased availability of Prince’s music is undoubtedly good news for the future of music. This simple move will allow Prince’s music to become a staple part of all young people’s mu-

There is reason to worry, for anyone that is concerned with the issues of copyright, ownership and integrity within the music industry, that those now in control of Prince’s own his estate are simply cashing in on an opportunity that Prince himself clearly did not support. The Grammys on the 12 February will play a major role in revealing the nature of extent of Spotify’s relationship with Prince’s estate and what that means for not only the future of his music but for the future of the music industry as a whole and what is acceptable behaviour after the death of a music icon. Stay tuned everyone, the next few weeks are going to be very telling.

I feel it in my fingers, I feel it in my toes

Sam Blackburn’s top alternative picks to get you in the mood for love this Valentine’s


o with it being Valentine’s Day this week, I have been tasked with finding the best love songs for the wonderfully corporate holiday. Let’s be honest, love songs are normally terrible and only listened to by people who are overdosed in emotions. As a cynical person, I have decided to choose to talk about the love songs you should be serenading to your love one instead of crap like ‘Hero’ and ‘When You Say Nothing At All’.

Let’s start with everyone’s favourite intergalactic band, GWAR with their 1997 classic ‘I Hate Love Songs sang by the bands bassist, Beefcake The Mighty, instead of their fallen leader, Orderus Urungus. For those who are ignorant towards the brilliance that is GWAR, they are a metal band from the planet Scumdoggia who were sent to Earth for smoking too much crack. Some claim they are just men in costumes, but there is not enough evidence to prove this claim. ‘I Hate Love Songs’ is definitely one of GWAR’s more punk inspired songs, sounding more like a Misfits song than their typical savage two guitar heavy metal attacking style. The song touches on things to hate

towards many things like ove songs, lovers and wet dreams. Beefcake juxtaposes the lyrics towards the end, talking about all the things he loves like songs about mass destruction and road kill puppies. Truly a valentines classic for all lovers to enjoy this week.

The next song I recommend to get you in the Valentines mood is from none other than the godfathers of heavy metal themselves, Black Sabbath. Everyone knows ‘N.I.B’ for it’s brilliant bass solo intro and evil guitar riff, but did you know that this is actually a song about Satan himself falling in love? I mean what’s more romantic than Satan himself falling in love? Not only is the song one of the best metal songs of all time, but it captures the softer side of Satan, one which we unfortunately do not see throughout the bible. It teaches us a wonderful lesson of how even the evil of the world are vulnerable to be infected by love.

“It captures the softer side of Satan”

The last song I decided to go for was a toss up between two Misfits songs - ‘Die, Die My Darling’ and ‘Dig Up Her Bones’. Although they are both punk rock classics, I had to go with ‘Dig Up Her Bones’, a song I am proud to see I covered at the local church years ago with my short lived band, Burnout (2012-2012 R.I.P). As you can imagine, the song is about a man who has sadly lost his partner. The lyrics talk about how much he misses her, therefore he decides to take drastic action to see

her again by digging up her bones. Truly a song with a beautiful message of heartbreak and loneliness, one which will draw tears from the toughest of punks out there.

The Courier


Monday 13 February 2017

Phoebe on Mark

Phoebe Bower, 3rd Year English Literature meets Mark McGarry, 2rd Year English Literature

Where did you go on your date? We went to Bar Loco. It was Mark’s idea. I asked him what he wanted to do and he was like ‘oh we could go for foo,’ but I thought maybe let’s start with a drink and Bar Loco is really nice so thought that was best. Did you go for food in the end? No, no I’ve had a really hectic few days and to be honest, I needed to get to bed! By the end I was a bit like I have to go home before I pass out. I felt really bad as well because I was about 20 minutes late too because I’ve been so busy. Okay, so on the date how was the first impression? Had you actually kept it a Blind Date? Yeah we followed it through and did it properly. Didn’t facebook him or anything. He was lovely, conversation was really easy and there weren’t any awkward pauses or anything and it was also good because he did English Literature so we had a lot to talk about. Okay so being a Blind Date how did you know it was him when you walked into Bar Loco? Well he did tell me what he was going to be wearing and it’s a tiny little place, so when I walked in like 20 minutes late I was like ‘oh yeah I know who you are’ sort of thing but yeah he was really friendly, really smiley and offered to get us a drink straight away so that was really nice. So was he buying the drinks then? He bought the first round, but I bought the second. He offered to buy the second as well but I wanted to make up for being late. Was there any sexual chemistry throughout the date? Umm I wouldn’t say sexual. And it’s early, like does that really happen on the first date? But no it was friendly and comfortable and not awkward or anything like that. So do you remember what kind of stuff you talked about? We talked a lot about our course because obviously we both do English so there was a lot about what we enjoy reading, and chatting about lecturers, that kind of stuff. Also were talking about like where we’re from because I’m from London and he’s from around here, and I do love a Geordie. And he was just chatting about going out on the town and where we go. I’m quite mainstream and he’s quite edgy. Ah great! And for our other, less enthused daters out there, how would you rate the Blind Date experience as a whole? I think it helped that I was actually like all you have to do is go and talk to someone, right? Worst comes to worst, it’s awkward for an hour and then you make your excuses. But most of the time, it’s quite exciting because it means you don’t have any preconceived conceptions about that person so I think it’s way better not to add them on facebook. It’s nice just going and not having any expectations and you’re not thinking this, that or the other, like is he too short or oh I don’t into blondes or whatever. I think it’s best for a Blind Date to actually treat it like a Blind Date. Do you think that aspect then took the tension away? Yeah I do, I think that with dating, if you’re with someone you already fancy, you’re going to be a lot more nervous. This was a lot more stripped down… not literally, I was wearing clothes. Right so, date a success. How did it end? Well it was me kind of saying I need to go because I’m knackered. He offered to walk us to the metro station as well which I thought was really nice and gentlemanly. It was a short walk, but nice gesture. I thought it was really sweet of him to offer. Some guys wouldn’t and it’s just little things that make a difference. Okay now the classic, if he were an animal what would he be? Oh god can you think of an edgy animal? Umm.. I’d say maybe a badger? Alright yeah I like badger. Cute and sweet but edgy. Finally out of 10, what would you rate your date? I think a solid 8!

Mark on Phoebe

Firstly, was this a blind date or did you dod abit of facebook stalking first? Ill admit i did look up ‘Phoebe’... bu there were so many, she wasnt the phoebe I thought she’d be. so despite my best efforts it was completely blind yeah. Where did you go? Bar Loco Was that your decisision? I was up for going for a meal at the forth, but in the end we decided drinks would be better Did you go anywhere afterwards? We didn’t, we chatted for a few hours and then realised it was time to get the last metro so I walked her to the metro station How romantic… Well I think we kind of established that neither of us were each other’s types, which was fine. We got on really well though, it was easy, it wasn’t awkward at all What did you talk about? She’s from Croydon, and I’m from round here, so we just talked about how different the two places are. We talked about how uni was going because she’s on the same course as me but in the year above. I was getting a lot of advice interspersed throughout the night! So we’ve established that you didn’t fancy her… I thought she was pretty! And we had a great night, just neither of us were feeling it. Are you going to see her again? I’d definitely see her again, I’ll go to the pub as pals. If she was a high street shop which one would she be? That’s hard… that’s really abstract. I’d go with something pretty fancy? Can I come back to this question? I guess… what was the best thying about her? That you could have a conversation with her without really trying to, everything happned really naturally. I know it wasn’t 100 % successful, but would you recommend blind date to people? It’s a really sureeal experience, I had no idea what I was walking into. But after a few minutes it was fine. I’d definitely recommend it, you never know. And it’s always good to get to know a new face. So what would you rate her out of 10? I’d give her an 8! The night itself was really nice. I see a lot of people write 7.5, but you cant tell that the date was really bad. But wholeheartedly I’d give her an 8 Can’t argue with that, but back to the high street question… Because she’d quite chatty I’d go for somewhere you could get anything you want easily Wow… Not like that! Do you mean like Tescos? Yes! Oh we did actually talk about tescos because we both live near different tescos. Definitely tescos, it’s there when you need it. You somehow mangaed to bring that back around... thanks Mark!

Fancy a date? We’ll set you up. Contact us! Find us on The Lifestyle Writers 2016/17 Facebook


Monday 13 February 2017

The Courier

TV Editors: Luke Acton, Alison Scurfield and Dominic Corrigan


Tune in the Toon on your tellies

Geordie Shore is large on our TVs, but Newcastle hasn’t always had such a presence on the airways. Zoë Godden went to the Royal Television Society event to see where it all began


This week, Jordan Oloman remembers


True Detective

hh, True Detective Season 1 (who are we kidding, that other season with Colin Farrell doesn’t exist). True Detective is a televised triumph. A lot of TV shows are good, and passable, and I’ll kick back and watch it every week because it engages me, but it’s not like every episode of Game of Thrones or The Walking Dead has been so incredibly captivating that you can’t look away… True Detective manages this, and that is one of the many reasons as to why it’s so special.

“It’s like magic. I think I got to Rust’s first monologue and within thirty minutes it had sunk it’s gritty, sharp teeth into me and I couldn’t shake it off ” I watched this show in the space of a day, and it was easily one of the best TV experiences I’ve ever had. It manages to thread that line where, the story doesn’t need so much interim reflection that you can just binge it, but that does not in any manner take away from the narrative punch of the series. It’s like magic. I think I got to Rust’s first monologue and within thirty minutes it had sunk it’s gritty, sharp teeth into me and I couldn’t shake it off. The characters are all effortlessly alluring, but the star of the show Rust Cohle is by far my favourite protagonist in any TV show. It’s important to note that I’d never really seen Matthew McConaughey in anything that flexed his acting chops properly, but this series convinced me that he is one of the best in the world. His sharp philosophical rhetoric somehow isn’t patronising, and the writers do well to make him endearing, and not just some kind of pseudo-intellectual hipster. I was on the edge of everything he said. His knife-edge morality reminded me of The Joker, both enigmatic entities that manage to pervade the medium and affect you. He’s also impeccably dressed. His costume design from his hair to his boots turn him into a calculated, attractive mystery that will engrave itself into your noggin for years beyond the finale. A style icon and a masterpiece of a character, I can only assume the sense of pride Pizzolatto and the team must have had when they wrapped the show. Of course, let’s not forget Woody Harrelson as his more grounded sidekick Marty, a man constrained by human dogma, and an excellent use of a character as a medium to explore the follies of hegemonic masculinity and break through Rust’s oppressive monologues with colloquial flair.

hough nowadays we wouldn’t think twice about the Toon’s presence in mainstream media (cheers Geordie Shore), Newcastle has historically had a hard time finding a home on our screens. Television in particular took its time before finally using Newcastle as a setting, let alone reference the city itself, so learning about this rocky relationship is something an eager Media student like myself is all over. The Royal Television Society saw such an opportunity to educate, and so on January 26th held Forget Carter: Newcastle on Film and Television at Newcastle City Library. Condensing the research of media historian Chris Phipps’ book of the same name, the presentation went over the surprisingly vast history of shows that had been conceived, filmed, or even just referenced here in Geordie Land. It turns out the society is actually a regular visitor here, holding their annual North East and the Border Centre Awards at the Newcastle Hilton hotel on 27th February. Graham Thompson, the society’s chair, introduced the event, praising the more recent TV shows currently being filmed in Newcastle. CBBC in particular has many shows in production here, including Tracey Beaker spin-off The Dumping Ground and partial Twilight rip-off Wolfblood. Vera has also been using various buildings along the Quayside, and George Gently, ironically enough, was filming along my street in Summerhill Square the other week. The main bulk of the presentation was taken up by Chris Phipps, going over a large portion of research he had done for his aforementioned book. It was certainly an eye opener into Newcastle’s journey onto our screens; the city wasn’t recognised as a part of UK cinema until late on, with only North West regional accents featuring on film both at home and internationally. This all changed with Whatever Happened to the Likely Lads? in 1973, a drama-comedy on BBC1 that saw the birth of the

“[Newcastle] wasn’t recognised as a part of UK cinema until late on, with only North West regional accents featuring on film both at home and internationally” Perhaps the most interesting anecdote was on Quayside, a cancelled soap opera that was headed by now Oscar-winning director Tom Hooper and the team behind Byker Grove. Only 17 episodes ever aired, and it’s a shame that, till this day, the

North East has no soap opera to its namesake. Phipps also aired his frustration at Newcastle’s now stereotypical use as a location for crime thrillers. Stormy Monday, a 1988 thriller featuring Sean Bean and Tommy Lee Jones, made great use of the Tyne Bridge as a key location, and eventually spawned the spin-off TV series Finney on ITV six years later starring David Morrissey in his preGovernor days. Newcastle hence has a reputation of showcasing the ‘urban mafia’, as Phipps calls it, making use of only more run-down locations such as multi-storey carparks and Cruddas Park flats. Finishing the night off with a complimentary glass of wine, reflecting on the evening proved to be a sombre affair. The media industry is perceived as all taking place in London, yet the North has so much to offer. As a student keen in working in the sector, but too nervous to make the move down South, it’s encouraging to see the vast history Newcastle has in the television sector, and the possibilities it holds for filmmakers in the future.

Photograph courtesy of Newcastle Libraries

Fill in that heart-shaped void Nothing (or, more accurately, no-one) to do on Valentine’s Day? Alice Wilson gives tips


t’s that time of year again. The dreaded commercial love-fest has descended upon us once again, all guns blazing, complete with abnormally long queues of ill-prepared boyfriends at the tills of Patisserie Valerie and Thornton’s, thousands of Instagram captions using the words “this one” with the yellow love heart emoji, and packed out restaurants with two for one deals and mellow music. Don’t get me wrong, I’m no Valentine’s Nazi—for those of us fortunate enough to have a bae, it’s a good excuse to spend some quality time together - meal, movie, cuddles. A day to celebrate love in all its forms. Bravo. However, what are the rest of us supposed to do? Sit around basking in our loneliness, scoffing bag after bag of “Great for Sharing” Cadbury’s giant buttons, bawling our eyes out to The Notebook and screaming the whole of Adele’s 21 into an empty bottle of Chardonnay? Contrary to this stereotypical single person’s approach to getting through another lonely Valentine’s, I recommend a slightly more dignified solution in the form of Peter Kay’s Car Share.

“There’s no filler - each episode leaves you with an almost occult fascination with what “If it was anyone other than might come next” Peter Kay introducing the idea to the producers, the show It’s flabbergasting to even consider all of the incredible set pieces the show takes you on during wouldn’t have gone ahead, its 8-episode lifespan. There’s no filler, and due to because on paper it sounds the focus on developing character each episode leaves you with an almost occult fascination with like pure shit” what might come next. It’s a truly inspired work, and it wears its influences on its sleeve, from Schopenhauer to ‘The King in Yellow’ and right back around to Nietzsche. It’s crime drama setting is merely the rocks in this fine whiskey glass of a show, and the burning bourbon elixir that fills it is a stunning work of art that cannot be missed.

Geordie accents on screens. The Tube was another notable mention, as it was the show that originally drew Phipps to the North East to work as a producer for Tyne Tees TV. Airing from 1982-1987, this music show, in Phipps’ words, “made Newcastle cool”.

The man is a legend, and pretty much anything with his name on it is destined to rake in the highbrow acknowledgements and record-breaking audiences, and Car Share was no exception. If it was anyone other than Peter Kay introducing the idea to the producers, the show wouldn’t have

gone ahead, because on paper it sounds like pure shit. “Hey Guys! Absolutely thrilling new idea for a comedy show on prime-time TV - let’s just film me driving my colleague to and from work and see where the conversation goes. It will be banging.” No, thanks.

“Chuck out those tissues—the only crying you’ll be doing this Valentine’s Day is with uncontrollable laughter”

But it works, and I’m not entirely sure why. Maybe it’s because they’re both critically acclaimed comedy actors with years of experience under their belts? Maybe it’s because Sian Gibson and Peter Kay aren’t actually acting at all because they really are best buds from uni days? Maybe it’s because the soundtrack makes you feel like you’re in Flares? Maybe it’s because underneath the hilarity of the situations the two characters find themselves in, there is a plethora of complex back story to each of them, as they deal with family issues, romance problems and the acceptance of getting older, all with a great snorting cackle. So forget One Day or Titanic, and chuck out those tissues—the only crying you’ll be doing this Valentine’s Day is with uncontrollable laughter at Peter Kay’s giggle or Sian Gibson speaking

in Japanese, and you will have smashed through the whole six-episode series before you’ve realised you are watching what is essentially what the average human does every single day of their lives. And that is where the beauty of it lies- it’s not just a way for Kay to fund a new house or help out an old uni friend whose career has flopped- it’s a recognition of the joy which can be found in all aspects of life- even driving your slightly irritating colleague to work. And why for Valentine’s Day? Because there’s absolutely NO romance whatsoever. They’re just two pals cruisin’ their way to work, chucking wee at each other and singing some absolute 80s bangers.

The Courier


Sherlock iPlayer


hen a show has been absent from our screens for three years and then returns with just three episodes, there’s no room for error. Luckily, the fourth series of BBC’s Sherlock did not disappoint. When we left consulting detective Sherlock Holmes and his loyal blogger and his pregnant wife John and Mary Watson, they were saying their goodbyes, Sherlock having been exiled after murdering villain Charles Magnuson to prevent the exposure of Mary’s ex-assassin lifestyle. As if that wasn’t dramatic enough and before the series could end on this devastating note, the beginning of the credits was interrupted by an automated voice asking “did you miss me?”; none other than Sherlock’s arch-enemy and everyone’s favourite good-old-fashioned villain, Jim Moriarty, seemingly risen from the grave.




Monday 13 February 2017

Sky 1

ornwall and good food. These are two things the four episode drama has to offer and succeeds at. It then mixes love, infidelity and a subtle pinch of dark comedy in what becomes a not so ‘delicious’ combination. The story follows Leo (Ian Glen), a Michelin star chef, and the two women he has loved the most in his life, Sam (Emilia Fox), his current wife, and Gina (Dawn French), the Italian great cook, who is also his ex-wife. Sam is the cliché mistress who becomes wife and is a few years younger than Leo. However, Gina seems to be still very present in Leo’s life, with the advantage of sharing two of his biggest passions with him – cooking and eating. This is a love triangle involving attractions that only | @courier_tv

Manage Your Speculations

“We’re back to basics of Holmes and Watson, except this time the former is much more humble and the latter much more bitter” However, the highly-anticipated beginning of the first episode set aside Moriarty’s return for a more domesticated problem, yet one just as frightening for Sherlock; the birth of Rosie Watson. Life continued in this way for a short while: Sherlock solving crimes as arrogantly as ever from the armchair of 221B while John and Mary juggled their new-born baby with their old one of Sherlock; but this simple life could not continue forever. The destruction of several Margaret Thatcher busts, while in itself possibly seen as more celebration than crime, leads to the discovery of Mary’s ex-comrade who now wants her dead. At the end of the episode, after the first of many heart-breaking scenes of the series, he succeeds, meaning we’re back to basics of Holmes and Watson, except this time the former is much more humble and the latter much more bitter. The second episode seemed to be a fan-favourite, with the introduction of Toby Jones in a skin-crawling performance as the sickening and perverted serial-killer Culverton Smith, an enemy that Sherlock makes his life mission to destroy. In doing so he wins back the loyalty and love of John, who’s rejection of Sherlock following the death of his wife led to a deep and open look at the more human side of Holmes: someone who takes drugs to deal with guilt and boredom and who goes to outlandish lengths to talk someone out of a suicide that reminds him so much of a John Watson he met back in Series 1. The directing by Nick Hurran of episode 2 is close to perfection and genius, so many of his shots seemingly coming from a Christopher Nolan blockbuster and not Sunday night TV. The third episode was unlike anything Sherlock has done before, the staggering introduction of an incarcerated third Holmes sibling, Euros, causing the finale to culminate in a crescendo of tense and emotional viewing as Sherlock, John and Mycroft were forced to partake in what seemed like her safood can put together. Leo loves Sam but enjoys Gina’s intimate company as she lets him eat any gourmet dish he wants. Problematic, of course, when the pair revisit the past in a steamy love-making scene.

I distic game where murder and emotional turmoil was simply part of the rules. The only light-hearted relief was a flashback of epic proportions, Queen’s I Want To Break Free ringing out before Jim Moriarty, suit, sunglasses and earphones included, danced off a helicopter.

“These final 90 minutes are handled tragically and beautifully” These final 90 minutes are handled tragically and beautifully, Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman giving heart-wrenching performances that portray the pinnacle of their extraordinary character arcs, Sherlock developing from the unattached, cold robot of Series 1 to the most human of human beings, a man that cares for what is right, and deeply values his profound love for John Watson. Stacie Byers

Ronja the Robber’s Daughter Amazon Prime

“The outcomes can be somewhat predictable with this show, making them sometimes senseless”

Making the most of the stunning Cornish locations and the posh good-enough-to-eat food in the series, this is easily one of the most beautifully shot dramas Sky has to offer. The series’ lack of connection between characters is obvious and left me wishing for more drama and scandal, or maybe a sprinkling of salt and pepper. For me, despite the love scenes, Glen and French needed a lot more chemistry on screen to be convincing. Also, it happens to have extremely random characters, like Leo’s daughter with Gina, Teresa, who has a rare allergy to water. The outcomes can be somewhat predictable with this show, making them sometimes senseless. It seems that perhaps four episodes were not enough to fully explore the storyline, as the relationships between characters require more time to be built, and for us to fall for them. Overall, Delicious is a good watch, but another series may be in order as it certainly has a lot more to give.

Marina Gomes Da

Although Japanese animation studio Studio Ghibli is famous for its feature films, responsible for classics such as Spirited Away and My Neighbour Totoro, they are making a foray into the realm of television. Ronja the Robber’s Daughter consists of 26 episodes and is available outside of Japan for the first time this year. The series is directed by Goro Miyazaki, son of Hayao Miyazaki, and is based on Astrid Lindgren’s 1981 fantasy novel. It depicts the adventures of a small gang of thieves, led by a young girl named Ronja, as they explore the challenges of their woodland environment and encounter rival tribes. The series continues several Ghibli conventions, including a young, female protagonist, a tendency towards the fantasy genre and of course the studio’s iconic art style. However, the series is not identical visually, as it also features CGI in addition to the traditional 2D animation, as it is co-produced by another studio, Polygon Pictures. So far the series has won two awards, including an International Emmy for best children’s animation, however the critical reception has been mixed. Some have criticised the show for moving too slowly, and questioned whether a show whose plot develops so gradually and which opts for a meditative depiction of nature over cartoonish violence will manage to hold the attention of children who are used to the fast-paced action of Western cartoons. Nevertheless, the series’ departure from current children’s television clichés has made it a welcome change for others, and a Studio Ghibli project is always worth watching to anyone who has enjoyed their work previously. Aisling Hough

Bill Nye Saves the World

n what is being dubbed the Post-Truth era, in a world of alternative facts, climate change denial and criticism of experts, there’s one thing that we can rely on: Netflix. So, science, facts and experts are coming straight to it, in the form of none other than Bill Nye. Yeah, you read that right, Bill Nye Saves the World, a talk-show hosted by The Science Guy himself, is coming to Netflix sometime in the spring of 2017. With educational aims similar to Bill Nye, the Science Guy of the 1990s, with modern topics and a 21stcentury angle—looking at politics, pop culture, society and science—it’s the perfect show for a Brexit-having, Trump-ruling world. With the aim to engage people watching TV via the internet with modern science, the show will start debunking myths and claims made in regards to science from its first episode. Targeting the stories perpetuated by political, industrial and religious groups, Nye hasn’t shied away from taking on some heavyweight targets. You should be as excited for it as I am. Episodes taking on antivaccination myths, genetically modified organisms in food, and—you guessed it—climate change are on the list. I do sincerely hope he’s taken it directly to people to change their minds. Bill Nye taking on anti-vaxxer groups and climate change deniers face-to-face will be something to behold, whether you believe in scientifically proven facts or... not.

“It’s as if the stars have aligned perfectly for Bill’s comeback, and Nye’s no-nonsense yet ultimately fun style is something we’ve all missed out on since Bill Nye, the Science Guy ended in 1998”

Bill Nye’s return to television is not wholly unexpected considering the current climate in regards to science. We’re supposedly sick of experts, sick of being told what is right and wrong. I mean… look at the state of America now, for crying out loud. Nye’s fervent criticism of Donald Trump’s administration, and huge online following, would naturally prompt him to come back to a television audience. It’s as if the stars have aligned perfectly for Bill’s comeback, and Nye’s no-nonsense yet ultimately fun style is something we’ve all missed out on since Bill Nye, the Science Guy ended in 1998. Education on science needs to be readily accessible by anyone, and providing this on Netflix is, on first assessment, a fantastic idea – anyone with a little bit of cash to spare a month can get a hold of the means in which to educate themselves – and with someone as fun as Nye heading the show, why wouldn’t you want to watch it? My only concern is Netflix’s predominant user base, which is younger individuals aged 16 to 24. Not only that, but the attitude of people such as anti-vaxxers and climate-change deniers won’t point them toward this show whatsoever. These people tend to ignore facts, and avoid any possible opinions or arguments that could change their viewpoints at all. The individuals watching this show will – mostly – already be pro-vaccination, or stand to combat climate change, and this will cause the show to exist in its own little resonating echo-chamber, bouncing from millennial to millennial. Sadly, I wouldn’t be surprised if this ended up being the case - and it’s possible that through existing via Netflix alone, Nye’s show, through targeting too young an audience, may be too late to save the world. Errol Kerr


Monday 13 February 2017

The Courier

Film Editors: Emma Allsopp, Zoë Godden & Simon Ramshaw

Don’t be dumb - dim your phone

GUILT TRIP Romeo + Juliet (1996) In celebration of Valentine’s Day, this week Jordan Oloman looks at what he views as a timeless classic, Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo + Juliet. He attempts to convince us all why this colourful 90s time capsule is worth a watch this week


nder love’s heavy burden do I sink to tell you that Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo + Juliet is easily one of my favourite movies of all time. I can feel your leering eyes, judging me through the paper. Some might say it’s almost sickly in the way that it seethes garish colour and embellished set pieces. But honestly, these are some of my main reasons for liking it, and if I’m feeling particularly absent of romance when V-day dawns (let’s not kid ourselves), it’ll be the first film I reach for in my collection. It’s not important to say how many times I’ve watched it… but let’s just say it’s a lot. Regardless, I always manage to notice something new. The set pieces and outfits are incredibly detailed. It’s almost as if the film exists in a strange microcosm of fashion. The iconic Hawaiian shirts. Leonardo DiCaprio in his armor and sweeping bangs, Claire Danes’ angel wings, and uh, Paul Rudd in a spacesuit. Luhrmann somehow manages to turn Venice Beach into Verona, at points filming in a storm under the famous arch to capture some of the film’s most captivating speeches. The mixing of Shakespearian themes with 90s fashion are further juxtaposed by powerful moments of anguish. John Leguizamo puts in a powerful shift as Tybalt, with a budding Leonardo oozing prowess, holding his rose-embroidered gun to his head and ordering him to pull the trigger after Mercutio’s death. The range of feelings experienced in this movie is quite something; Romeo + Juliet is the emotional guarantor in my DVD rack.

I always watch out for all the street signs and newspapers that flash by, as they often contain fun references to lines of Shakespeare. I respect this movie so much for how it uses the source material to spin a world around a talented cast and setting unlike anything I’ve ever seen before. Romeo + Juliet creates a special kind of romantic Utopia, accentuating the past and rejecting the strain of our daily lives in place of romance and love, even though it inevitably ends in tragedy. It always comes across to me as a hopeful movie, something that tugs fervently on the heartstrings, encouraging me to reflect and embrace my emotions. If the film itself wasn’t enough, the outstanding soundtrack is what cements it in my personal hall of fame. To name a few, we have the effortlessly punchy ‘Local God’ by Everclear and a melancholy triumph in Radiohead’s ‘Talk Show Host’. So if boisterous love is pricking you like a thorn, defy the stars and take in Luhrmann’s best as you sob into your Ben and Jerry’s this February 14th.

Is it ever okay to be on your phone in the cinema? Thomas Atkinson and Will Capuano battle out over whether Apple’s new theatre mode is acceptable or not


FOR: Thomas Atkinson


AGAINST: Will Capuano

he year is 2013. I’m watching 12 Years a Slave at the cinema. The film has reached the gut-wrenching scene in which Solomon Northrup is torturously resisting death by tip-toeing while hanging from a tree. All of a sudden, at this crucial moment in this brilliant film, I’m blinded by white light as the person in front of me proceeds to browse Facebook on their iPhone. Apple’s new theatre mode update might put this annoyance to an end, with its brightness and sound adjusting options. But that’s not the point. As infuriating as being distracted at the cinema is, the principle behind it is what really grinds my gears. You’ve paid money to enjoy a film at a high quality venue – so why are you on your phone?! Cinema adverts of the pre-smartphone 2000s told cinemagoers to turn off their mobiles to stop calls disrupting the film. But now that smartphones are more infotainment devices than simple telecommunications tools, the game has changed. This goes beyond the cinema. I’m not going to do give a generic holier-than-thou rant about how smartphones have made us unsociable – I’m a huge tech fan and love my smartphone – but there is a balance. It’s perfectly acceptable to scroll through your phone when you’re idle, but a lot of people I know persist to scroll through their phones while watching a film or TV show. Why? Many people have to check their phones at all times, such as parents and carers. But I’m sure they’re perfectly capable of turning brightness and sound down without an update. Seriously, just turn it off and enjoy the film.

love the cinema. It’s a place you can escape the qualms and responsibilities of everyday life – even if the popcorn is overpriced and the floor is covered in a layer of solidified sugar. Why am I defending theatre mode then, a system which is surely designed to pollute this nirvana? Well, humans will be humans. We become addicted to the dopamine rush of social media and feel powerless if we’re not connected. I’d prefer it if they’d just enjoy the film they paid for, but alas, they won’t. At least here everyone else is not forced to endure the bright lights, pinging and vibrations accompanying the latest invite to a night out in Digi from a person with a social life several times better than mine. The raison d’être of theatre mode is to reduce feelings of social inadequacy by dimming the display, muting sounds and disabling haptic feedback. It also stops the phone waking up when a message or call is received. “Wait!” I hear you cry, “Why does this even need to exist!?” One of the more sensible scenarios I came across was if you were an on-call medical worker, or had a close person who may need sudden medical intervention. This would allow you to still enjoy your downtime without the embarrassment of full-brightness checking of your phone.. There’s also scope in an Apple patent application for the system to be triggered using a wireless network when in proximity of a cinema, potentially ensuring even frequent offenders are forced to subdue their activities. I still believe that you should turn it off, but this gives the option for those that can’t – or won’t.

Mega Trump vs. Giant Film Industry

Following President Trump’s election, and the uproar at various awards shows, Elizabeth Steele examines the effect he will have on Hollywood in the long term


t is safe to say that the latter half of 2016 really was a whirlwind. Particularly, the victory of Donald Trump in the Presidential Election was a shock felt around the world, and his first weeks in office have barely given us time to catch our breath between outrageous executive orders. With protests and demonstrations against Trump being held across the United States and the world, one of the most outspoken groups has been the celebrities of Hollywood. Countless celebrities, male and female, participated in the Women’s March. Stars have been ripping into him and his policies on red carpets across Los Angeles. Most memorable of all was Meryl Streep’s scathing condemnation of Trump, his bullying and his ableism, at the Golden Globe awards. Her impassioned speech went viral and sparked both praise and backlash.

“The bias of the powerful and rich mean any film criticising the Trump administration could be dead in the water” By what measure can actors judge the President, many ask. But why shouldn’t they judge him? No man is above criticism, especially the President. It wasn’t so long ago that Trump was a celebrity and cog in the entertainment industry himself. Prior to his presidential campaign, many knew him as the host of The Apprentice, and in 2006, he himself was up on stage performing at the Emmy awards. It’s easy to forget that Donald Trump and his cultivated celebrity status is a product of Hollywood, and perhaps that is why celebrities are so loudly condemning him. It would be interesting to see Hollywood put its money where its mouth is over the next four years. We could be seeing a slew of protest cinema: radical political films criticizing Trump’s actions and dystopian films depicting what the future would

be like with Trump wielding nuclear codes. There could be historical films, reminding the public of similar circumstances in the past that have ended catastrophically. Some projects in the pipeline could be the beginning of a wave: Hulu’s adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale is released this year, and will surely raise hypothetical questions given the current political climate. We also have two new Star Wars films to anticipate under President Trump, the newest in an entire series about fighting for what is right against diabolical leaders. However, I fear Hollywood will not deliver. The film industry is as political as any election. While actors, writers and directors rail against the new President, the companies who crucially fund their projects do not want to alienate voters in middleAmerica who elected Trump. Broadcasters might not want to air or distribute such films for the

same reason. Many film company executives support Trump, such as the CEO of Disney, who was named to Trump’s Strategic and Policy Forum. The bias of the powerful and rich mean any film criticising the Trump administration could be dead in the water. They might encourage projects depicting America in a golden, ideal light instead. These films might not get any star power; however, if protest films aren’t funded, even actors with the staunchest of ideals might have to buckle, or be struggling to find work. Hollywood stands at a crossroads at the beginning of 2017, divided between executives and creators. I would sincerely like to see the film industry hold Trump to account however it can; however, I also backed Hillary to win, and we all saw how that went.

The Courier


Monday 13 February 2017 | @Courier_Film

La La Land (12A)

Golden Oldies Presents...


Martin Scorsese’s

ighly controversial opinion alert: I wasn’t mad keen on La La Land (gasp). I didn’t think I would be (another gasp). I’ve never been a massive fan of either Ryan Gosling or Emma Stone (apologies if you’ve now taken in way too much air), and I believe in a rom-com, the ‘com’ element should take precedence over the ‘rom.’ So it’s probably fair to say I responded to the film as I was always really going to. I understand the point, that it’s supposed to be gushy and sappy etc., being a musical after all. Where leaping into song and dance is plausible, so too is a classic love story between dreamers in a magical world where all women are toothpicks, bronzed to varying degrees, who run around in block colour dresses with gorgeous men and ultimately fulfil their dreams. But I’m not sure that being self-proclaimedly sappy makes it any less sappy. Nor does the ‘omg totes revolutionary completely mad’ plot twist make it any less a hard-core rom. None of this is bad, it was a nice experience - the jazz soundtrack was enjoyable and both protagonists were, annoyingly, sufficiently good dancers (though the choreography was not particularly great or challenging). It capitalised of the current zeitgeist of nostalgia in a pleasing manner; in our terrifyingly modern world, why shouldn’t we revel in Hollywood-era aesthetics and dream of a time when the world was sunnier without fearing global

warming, free of the threat of terrorism, or indeed ‘Making It All Great Again’ eh? Perhaps I simply wasn’t the target audience of a cis, straight, white, middle class young female – despite incidentally being interested in the arts and having been a lifelong fan of musicals. I reiterate, none of my criticisms are really critical, but I question whether this essentially hollow film deserves the multitude of nominations it appears to have drummed up, and whether these nominations will bear the fruits of the apparently limitless rewards people deem it to deserve. Costume and original score, perhaps (though there is an arguably limited heated competition for music, at least, in the relative lack of other musicals produced), or best actor and screenplay. However, I would contest. I’m not sure that what is essentially a standard romance without any particularly witty

T2 Trainspotting (18)

Jackie (15)



2: Trainspotting, the long-awaited sequel to Danny Boyle’s breakout hit, meets Renton, Spud, Sick Boy and Begbie twenty years on from the events of the first film, as they negotiate the difficulties of middle age. Despite Irvine Welsh having found success with his sequels to the 1993 novel, there has been much apprehension about the idea of another Trainspotting film. The 1996 cult-classic was seen as best left untouched. However, Boyle has succeeded in making T2 a worthy continuation of the Trainspotting story, which does not quite reach the towering heights of its predecessor, but does not detract from the original in any way. The film lacks the electric verve and energy of its predecessor, but this feels appropriate for the older incarnations of these characters. Lacking a specific focus for its narrative, the film plays out as a series of vignettes about middle-age, nostalgia and loss, which allows the film to concentrate on its characters and the effects of the preceding twenty years. Danny Boyle’s direction is terrific, aided by Anthony Dod Mantle’s inventive cinematography and a great soundtrack, that doesn’t overuse songs from the first film. T2 is also very funny, with the standout moment coming in an ingenious scene in a British loyalist club. The cast are also excellent. Clad in a superb collection of Adidas gear, Ewan McGregor is on top form as Renton, who returns to Edinburgh from his new life in Amsterdam, having ‘chosen life’ and found it to be just as uninspiring as he originally predicted. The main cast return to their roles with ease, each providing appropriates update to their iconic characters. However, it is a gentrified Edinburgh that provides the most significant change to the original. The run-down pubs and high-rises largely make way for stylish bars and apartments, increasing the alienating gloom felt by the quartet. Poignant, funny and compelling, T2 is a welcome return to the Trainspotting world, despite not being quite as great as the first film. More like this: Snatch (2000)

biographical drama about a woman everyone thought they knew, Chilean director Pablo Larraín manages to show that, behind the immaculate Chanel suits, the iconic First Lady was far more intertwined in political history than she was given credit for. Set in the days immediately following her husband’s assassination, President John F. Kennedy, in 1963, we follow Jacqueline Kennedy as she fights through grief and trauma to regain her faith, console her children and define her husband’s historic legacy. Although the film doesn’t cover much distance in terms of time it is enough to successfully convey the complex nature of a woman battling her public and private life. Beautifully balancing her different personalities for when she is in front and behind the camera, you learn that behind the icon is woman who has a greater knowledge of the inner workings of politics than she has been credited for. Recognising that she was present in the beginning of the digital age she valued the importance of image, and was dedicated to ensure that how the President of the United States was portrayed was how the public wanted them to be seen. A belief that she stands by during the life and death of her husband as she aims to create his long standing legacy. Driven by an immaculate performance by Natalie Portman, arguably the best of her career, she manages to fully immerse herself into the leading First Lady. Larraín’s decision to shoot in near constant close-ups, gave Portman no place to hide, and complemented by a crippling score by Mica Levi, ensuing an intensity and intimacy that is there to reflect the feeling of constantly being watched and on display. The result, like Jackie’s intent behind her husband’s legacy, is a portrayal of a woman on screen that feels far more real than what we previously knew.

Dan Haygarth

William Johnson

More like this: Carol (2015)

lines should necessarily be considered a ‘great’ film. I feel we have come a long way from rewarding art which we consider pretty and nothing but pretty - why is film an exception? Overall, um, good effort guys. Nice. Strongly nice. Please Hollywood, keep trying with musicals - there is nothing wrong with making something purely ‘feel-good.’ Just please don’t pretend it’s anything more. I admit that I am a snob and perhaps go to the cinema for different reasons to others. But if you’re looking for a musical or a generally feelgood film, I’d rather go for Hairspray or Singin’ in the Rain. If you’re not looking for that at all, then it’s probably best to just not bother. More like this: The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (1964) Helena Buchanan

Resident Evil: The Final Chapter (15)


s game-to-film franchises go, none have been so enduring as Paul W.S. Anderson’s take on Capcom’s Resident Evil videogame franchise – which I hold dear to my heart – but after fifteen years, the release of Resident Evil: The Final Chapter sees a culmination to this billion-dollar franchise. The sixth instalment, RE:TFC doesn’t know whether it wants to be a horror film, an action film, or Mad Max: Fury Road, but it attempts to be everything, just badly. The central plot device, an airborne cure for the zombie T-Virus, sounds like a good idea, but in reusing the setting for the first two RE films, the “return to where it all began” theme turns every film between the first RE and RE:TFC into a plot hole. There’s repetitive start-stop narrative from the get-go, peppering the film’s excessive action with dialogue exposition, which not only comes off as lazy, but gave away the plot twist far too early for my liking. The lighting alternates between being too dark to understand events, to flashing too brightly to clearly grasp what I should be scared of, and the fight-scenes are far too close-up and edited too poorly to follow who just got punched in the face, or what that supposedly scary monster looks like. The worst bit? As the sequel to RE: Retribution, which ended with Alice and loads of characters from the videogame franchise preparing for a fight against an endless horde, the film – spoilers – skips that and starts by presumably killing everyone but Alice via narrative exposition. And I quite liked Leon and Ada in Retribution… The franchise defines “jumping the shark” – or “punching the rock”, for any fans of the game – but Resident Evil: The Final Chapter takes the biscuit. Sadly, its zany action can’t save it from being a forgettable film, much like the rest of the franchise, and I honestly hope that this can be the final bullet in this film franchise’s head. And please, stay dead this time. More like this: Silent Hill (2006) Errol Kerr

Goodfellas In the BFI’s retrospective of the incredible work of Martin Scorsese, the Tyneside Cinema showed his iconic gangster epic, Goodfellas. Joe Holloran went to see if it’s still the wise guy it was, or if it’s just an average film, living the rest of its life as a schnook


omorrow, as I’m sure you know, is Valentine’s Day, and what better way to spend that time than curled up warm, away from the freezing Toon air, in the company of Joe Pesci, Robert De Niro and Ray Liotta in a classic piece of American gangster cinema, Goodfellas. The ninth film from renowned director Martin Scorsese, the auteur returned to the theme that won him critical acclaim with movies like Taxi Driver; the gritty criminal underworld of New York City. Goodfellas follows the path of wannabe gangster Henry Hill, an Italian-American from Brooklyn who grows up in the era of Hollywood gangster flicks and wants nothing more than to escape his ghetto and live the life of a ‘made man’. “As far back as I can remember I wanted to be a gangster”, Henry quips off-camera in the film’s opening moments. Over the years we watch as Henry climbs his way slowly up the ladder of one of New York’s ‘Five Families’. Along the way, Henry befriends seasoned mobster Jimmy Conway (De Niro) and the psychotic Tommy DeVito (Pesci) and all seems to be going well, until Tommy incurs the wrath of the Gambino’s, and Henry’s world quickly unravels. Henry then must balance his loyalty to his brothers in crime and protecting the domestic, suburban life he has made for himself with his wife Karen (Lorraine Bracco). Importantly with films like this, Liotta and Bracco have palpable chemistry as Mr and Mrs Hill, which allows us as an audience to emphasize with Henry despite what we know about his activities.

It’s a strange thought that Goodfellas is now nearly thirty-years old. It is easy to see why, even at the time, the film is seen as a classic. The Oscar winning turn by Joe Pesci is extraordinary; although, as a 90s kid, it is admittedly odd to see the comical, bumbling ‘Wet Bandit’ from the Home Alone films swear like Gordon Ramsey if he stubbed his little toe. While the performances received their due praise, what really sets Goodfellas apart from pretenders is the risks it is willing to take for the sake of the story. It is rare for a film to break the fourth wall period, but to do so in the way Goodfellas did and have it not destroy immersion is highly impressive. Scorsese has since revisited the gangster genre with Gangs of New York and The Departed, both of which are fine films, but neither these nor any other film made since has managed to top Goodfellas in terms of showing the world of organised crime through relatable eyes, and in an aesthetically and narratively stunning manner.


Monday 13 February 2017

The Courier

Gaming Editors: Jordan Oloman, Errol Kerr and Jared Moore

Wii EUlogy Sam Blackburn says goodbye to everybody’s favourite Nintendo console


hope you all take the liberty of putting on Yiruma’s beautifully sad piano piece “River Flows In You” whilst you read this, as I feel this is going to be an extremely heart-breaking article to read. I still remember the day the Wii U was released, 30th November 2012. I remember deliberating with myself whether to get one out of the money I had accrued from my Birthday/unquestionable means. I would stay up multiple nights, pondering if the price point was worth it for a console with only one exclusive launch title I’d be willing to play, New Super Mario Bros U. As you can tell, that’s how desperate the Wii U’s launch was. I opted to spend the last of my money on Far Cry 3 and the 7th Season of How I Met Your Mother. A year later though, having yet again more money from the day of my birth, I decide to finally bite the bullet after I cannot resist the temptation of Pikmin 3 and Super Mario 3D World. I remember getting my Wii U around the same time I got my PS4, and I actually played the Wii much more in December 2013. Maybe it was because the PS4’s launch line-up was terrible, but I really warmed to the Wii U. Sure, it wasn’t as powerful as the PS4 and Xbox One, but by God did it have some exciting titles. Pikmin 3 was quite possibly the best of the series, Super Mario 3D World was a blast, Splatoon was an interesting idea and it was brilliant being able to play Wind Waker in HD.


Georgina Howlett bravely ventures into a maniac-infested mansion on her lonesome


aving never played a Resident Evil game before, Resident Evil 7 was a very impressive and rewarding place to start. I went in knowing what to expect – lots of jump scares, creepy enemies, intense bosses and a fittingly creepy setting to explore and work through – and in that regard, I wasn’t disappointed. What I also got, but didn’t expect, though, was a very gripping storyline and horrible nightmares for at least two weeks afterwards. Playing as Ethan Winters, you travel to Dulvey, Louisiana in search of your wife Mia who has been missing for three years. Ending up at the seemingly abandoned and derelict Baker household, you discover that not everything is as it seems when the family reveal themselves and endlessly pursue you to prevent your escape. Capcom did a terrific job at creating individual personalities and appearances for each of the Bakers, and when not scared out of your wits, you really learn to appreciate them; Jack is eerily sinister, Marguerite psychotic and

freaky (to put it politely), Lucas an intelligent but mentally unstable inventor, and the old lady Baker in the wheelchair… well, I’ll let you find out what she’s like for yourself. Playing on PS4, the graphical quality was excellent and the level of detail actually really, really impressive. In terms of appearance, texture and ultimately a sense of realism, Resident Evil 7 absolutely nails it, with lighting and object placement primed for maximum spookiness and each individual set made to look, unlike in the first Resident Evil games, genuine in their sense of purpose. The horrific ‘molded’, the game’s primary enemies, fit in very well with the overrun and overgrown nature of the modern Baker mansion, and in picking up a wide range of weapons, solving a variety of puzzles, and uncovering all sorts of key files and photographs, the mystery of what is actually going on only gets deeper and deeper the further you progress into the story, and right until the end you are kept wondering as to what the molded are, who the Bakers are, and how either lot

came to be like this in the first place. Overall, I was incredibly impressed and would definitely recommend the game as a must-play title for this year. There are little nods to previous Resident Evil instalments here and there – the biggest of which comes towards the end of the game – and these inclined me to research into the franchise and think of what it might mean. And, boy, do I have questions that I need answering even upon finishing the game. The ending, as well as the rather bland characterisation of Ethan as your playable character in contrast with, say, the Bakers - and even Mia - and the lack of diverse ‘standard’ enemies, is therefore what let me down most about the game. It felt slightly rushed, and left me with more unanswered questions than answered ones, and so I hope the free incoming DLC - entitled Not A Hero - will help with these. The combat, open ability to explore and, yes, the terrifying jump scares, were all fantastic – but, damn it, I need to know things, and I won’t be happy until I do tie up all the loose ends at the end of the game’s story.

“Sure, it wasn’t as powerful as the PS4 and Xbox One, but by God did it have some exciting titles”

Looking up at my collection right now, there is three rows full of Playstation 4 games, as opposed to one row of Wii U games. Sure, the Wii U didn’t have too many games released for it, but when I look at the exclusive games I played on it compared to my PS4, I feel that I’ve enjoy them much more… well apart from Bloodborne, but sshhh, this is about how much I love the Wii U. I always felt the console was going to fail, just not this bad. It’s given me a great worry regarding the future of the Nintendo Switch, as Nintendo are still taking risks after the Wii U’s failure. I don’t regret buying the Wii U though and I am quite sad to see it go. One thing what I find pretty funny is the fact that I’ve spent more time playing it than I have the Xbox One. Although it’s life was short, I can still say I’ve had a lot of great memories with it. From playing numerous games whilst on the toilet, to getting unbelievably hyped over Donkey Kong Country Tropical Freeze or to rediscovering my love for Nintendo, a company I was sketchy on for many years after the release of the Wii. I want to leave everyone with one last memory. It was last summer, and I hadn’t been gaming much other than playing Fifa for the past year. You could say I had fallen out of love with gaming, something which sucks. I popped in Wind Waker HD one day, started the game from scratch and beat it during a warm week in the middle of August. This made me fall back in love with gaming, and for that, I must thank the Wii U and it’s marvel of porting Gamecube games. R.I.P In Peace Wii U 2012-2017.

Image Credit: Nintendo

Image Credit: CAPCOM

Nintendo Switch Roundup

Richard Liddle correlates all of the hype still in the air from last month’s Nintendo event


fter nearly two years of rampant speculation and dubious information leaks on the console formerly known as NX, Nintendo has finally spilled the beans on its shiny new console. Previously all we knew was the core concept of the Switch – a consolehandheld hybrid with removable controllers called Joy-Cons – but following the presentation on 13th January far more details have been released. To start with, the Switch is getting a worldwide release on 3rd March, with UK retailers setting the price at about £280. The base set includes the Switch console itself, a dock and HDMI cable for connecting the console to the TV, a power supply, two Joy-Cons and a Joy-Con Grip. As has been shown previously, these Joy-Cons can be used in multiple configurations – they can be slotted onto either side of the Switch in handheld mode, attached to the grip for a more standard gamepad setup, held in either hand like Wii remotes or used separately by two players holding them on their side. The presentation also shed some light on the other features of the Joy-Cons – precision motion control, a motion infrared camera in the right Joy-Con which can measure the distance, size and shape of objects in front of it, and “HD Rumble” – ultra-precise feedback that can, among other things, replicate the feeling of different numbers of ice cubes shaking in a glass (their example, not mine). A few other hardware details were also revealed alongside the information on the Joy-Cons. For starters, Nintendo is finally doing away with region-locking, so games can be freely imported and played from any other country, a welcome move bringing the Switch more in line with competing systems. A less welcome move

Nintendo is taking towards its competitors is the introduction of a paid online service; however, there’s a free trial period till the end of the year and if the Japanese price is anything to go by it’ll be a fairly reasonable £14-£21, with a free NES game thrown in each month to sweeten the deal. Finally, the console itself boasts a capacitative touchscreen, 16.2 inch LCD screen supporting up to 720p (with up to 1080p supported when docked), a USB-C port for charging on the go and 32GB internal memory with a microSD slot to allow for extra if needed. The battery life of the console was also given an estimate of two and a half to six hours depending on what game is being played. Speaking of games, the presentation also had plenty of them. The initial launch lineup is admittedly quite sparse; of the ten games on offer, the only standout titles are 1-2 Switch (a minigame collection making use of the various Joy-Con features) and Zelda: Breath of the Wild, although the latter received a trailer at the end of the presentation which easily outhypes anything in the history of hype (seriously, go check it out, it’s amazing). Things speed up slightly later in the year though, with slinky-armed boxing game Arms, portable Skyrim, new 3D Mario game Super Mario Odyssey and Fire Emblem/ Dynasty Warriors crossover Fire Emblem Warriors being just a handful of games releasing later on in the year. All in all, the Switch is shaping up to be an impressive console, and if it can survive a weak launch lineup then Nintendo might

finally manage to move on from the Wii U’s failures.

Image Credit:

The Courier


Monday 13 February 2017

Valentine’s Card: A Guide to the Dating Sim

Alex Ridley spreads his wings and finds love in a pigeon-populated gaming paradise


he game is Persona 4, and I’ve just defeated the divine incarnation of humanity’s selfdeception, a giant multi-coloured eyeball. It’s been a difficult fight, and I’ve had to think hard on the fly. Victory is so, so satisfying. But the next in-game day, I find myself clicking through the Christmas Eve ‘date’ that followed without even a fraction of that sense of achievement. What I’m being sold as an emotional high is nothing more than a few dozen lines, a blushing character portrait, and a fade to black. And that’s it. For the rest of the game, pre-written cutscenes will play out as if I and the girl I romanced stayed acquaintances. So much for love. Frankly, I was more emotionally engaged by the eyeball. In the early days of gaming, romance didn’t even get that far. In the good old 80’s, due to extreme hardware limitations, love was far outside of the player’s control. It happened, or did not happen, at the developer’s whim, and often only appeared in a static pane; after you completed the game. Mario would always kiss Princess Peach at the end of Super Mario Bros. 3. The silent, expressionless Warriors of Light would never interact with

Final Fantasy’s Princess Sarah. Approximating a relationship was somewhat beyond a game that couldn’t program attack names longer than four letters. But as hardware evolved, now that entire books worth of text and voice files could be forced into a game, their ability to tell these stories expanded. First came the pre-written love story the player observed through cutscenes and in-character dialog, which put a lot of faith in the game’s writers to come up with compelling characters. Sometimes it worked, like in Silent Hill 2’s delicate construction of a relationship gone sour. Sometimes it didn’t, as Sonic 2006’s inexplicable interspecies romance between an animé princess and a blue hedgehog demonstrated. But if you can only observe the relationship, then the player sees a standardised, non-personalised view of love, a relationship they can’t actually interact with. To attempt to fix that problem, there’s dating sims. Despite their dubious reputation, dating simulators remain the closest thing to love you can create with our current level of AI. They simulate relationships by presenting a range of potential

paramours and progressing down prewritten dialog paths, letting the player establish a virtual relationship that’s both personalised and directed towards their avatar - and, implicitly, them. Some tie gameplay around the sim elements, such as the aforementioned Persona series and the much-maligned HuniePop, while others are pure visual novel, like pigeon dating simulator Hatoful Boyfriend. It actually approaches human interaction in a semi-believable way, even if the premise is ludicrous. But all of them are scripted, pre-programmed lines, and there’s only so much that you can convey in a pre-written script. No matter how much your virtual boyfriend/girlfriend/fan-tailed dove claims to love you, no matter how emotive the writing, flick the power switch and they’re gone, reset the game and they’ll forget it. Romance in games can be a lot of fun, don’t get me wrong. I had fun helping Yukiko come to terms with her problems, and even enjoyed the two-minute long Christmas date. But if you’re looking for a good depiction of love in video games, don’t. There’s few places that do it worse. @Courier_Gaming

Top 5

Couples in gaming Gerry Hart plays Cupid in this guide to gaming’s most “perfect” paramours. 5: Mario & Peach – Super Mario Bros No list of gaming couples would be complete without Mario and Peach, so I might as well start with them. Though to be honest I don’t know why everyone makes such a fuss over these two. When not separated by their cock-blocking turtle mate, their relationship is pretty underwhelming. Granted I don’t profess to know anything about that human emotion you lot call ‘love’, but I’m pretty sure it’s meant to be more dynamic than this mess. It’s enough to make you want to jump into the game and scream “JUST FUCK ALREADY”! Actually on second thought that’d be creepy, please don’t. 4: Jaina and Arthas – Warcraft Franchise

Image: Alex Ridley

The best monkeys in Ape Escape Jordan Oloman dodges banana peels with success and outlines his prestige primates


he Ape Escape series is easily one of the most underrated PlayStation franchises. Its use of the analog stick to create exciting, innovative gameplay is a marvel, and the amount of interesting environments you find yourself venturing through makes for a series full of character. Doesn’t matter if you’re in the Stone Age or Cyberspace, catching those nefarious little ape boys is a delight, and the best part about it is the localization, which adds a whole new layer of fun. When the game was brought to the west, they had to make a number of monkeys that referenced pop culture icons and historic figures, and they’re both adorable and hilarious.

“Doesn’t matter if you’re in the Stone Age or Cyberspace, catching those nefarious little ape boys is a delight” For example, let’s start with Monk Quixote, an armor-clad primate you can find on the Castle

Frightmare stage. This is in reference to the titular character of the famous Spanish Novel Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes. Of course, his description reads ‘Is terribly afraid of windmills’, and he lacks morality, slashing at your sub-par human butt with his sword. I’d also like to draw your attention to Monko Polo, a famous explorer ape that you can find in The Lost Valley. According to his bio, he’s on a quest for a legendary banana, and his stomach fullness is super low. This makes sense, as he has not yet found sustenance. Whilst he doesn’t much resemble the Venetian merchant traveler, it’s nice to see a monkey on a mission. Another great localization comes with the tongue-in-cheek pirate monkey Stevenson, a nod to the author of Treasure Island, a certain RobertLouis. He has gnarly googly eyes and is of course wearing sailing stripes and a bandana with the jolly roger emblem. Find him on the pirate ship, firing himself out of a cannon at you when you least expect it… Conversely, the final monkey I’d like to point out isn’t actually a monkey at all. It’s this Tomato Bird. When I found this guy in the in-game

encyclopedia, he really struck me. This little guy wears sunglasses and shoots pellets at you, and not much else. I have so many questions. Why does he protect the monkeys when he can be so easily squished? This is one of life’s greatest mysteries.

“Why does he protect the monkeys when he can be so easily squished? This is one of life’s greatest mysteries”

Why, in fact are we capturing the monkeys? I know Specter is a bad dude, but do these apes deserve to be caught in my net, or should we just let the apes escape? Why can’t we just let them be happy with their increased sentience? They seem to be having fun until we run up on them with a bat? Who deserves that level of brutality when they just want to get into silly capers? I guess this can be explored in the deep, philosophical sequel Ape Escape 4. I would quit, but it’s a shame how effortlessly fun it is to rain on the primate parade…

The Warcraft franchise contains a number of high profile couples with the mage Jaina Proudmoore and Arthas Menethil being one of the most notable. That was before Arthas buggered off to Northrend to lead the armies of the Undead Scourge and presumably listen to copious amounts of black metal, though Jaina still sees the good in him. Girl, just let him go. He was over you the minute he took up the mantle of Lord of the Damned. Besides, there’s always those Orcish lads up the road in Orgrimmar if you’re ok with raw meat and halitosis. 3: Shepard & Morinth – Mass Effect 2 Like Mario & Peach, I couldn’t write this list without including a BioWare romance even though, let’s be honest, they are a little bit creepy. In particular I want to draw attention to one of BioWare’s lesser known romantic companions Morinth, a psychic Asari serial killer you can recruit in Mass Effect 2 by sacrificing one of your companions on a mission to bring her to justice. Should you recruit her, you’re then given the option to attempt “romantic congress” with her, though this unfortunately results in your death. Still, look on the bright side. At least you don’t have to make her breakfast in the morning. 2: Billy and Annabelle – Red Dead Redemption There’s something adorable about elderly couples and the love and devotion that only comes after years spent in one another’s company. It’s heart-warming to see Red Dead Redemption acknowledges this. You can find Billy north of MacFarlane’s Ranch where he tasks you with gathering flowers for his wife, a decidedly wholesome distraction in this otherwise violent Western. And once you bring him the flowers, you can see how dedicated he truly is to his beloved, even if she is now a desiccated husk who has long since departed this mortal coil. And they say familiarity breeds contempt. 1: James and Mary Sunderland – Silent Hill 2

Image Credits: Sony Interactive Entertainment

Topping our list is pretty much the polar opposite of Mario and Peach’s family-friendly snorefest. To say that James and Mary Sunderland’s relationship is strained would be something of an understatement, especially given Mary, like poor Annabelle, is quite dead. Yet that somehow doesn’t impair her writing abilities and, guided by a posthumous letter, James finds himself in the world’s worst holiday resort, Silent Hill (equalled only by Blackpool) where he must brave the eerie deserted town, his own tortured conscience and the hideous manifestations thereof to find his mortally estranged spouse. Happy Valentine’s Day everyone.

32. science&technology

Monday 13 February 2017

The Courier

Science Editors: Matthew Byrne, Natalie Farmer & Ciara Ritson-Courtney

On this day

Don your moon boots

February 14th 269 AD Kitty Marie delves into Christopher Little is ready and cannot weight to explain how this artificial device works esearchers have created an ‘artificial gravi- fundamental issues encountered in space travel. plete. They would also not have the luxury of history and investigates ty’ device that could be used to keep astroArtificial gravity is not simply wanted so as- hospitals and medical teams waiting to help them nauts healthy on long-distance space jour- tronauts can move about like they do on Earth, with their rehabilitation when they land either. the origins of St. neys. But forget the things from science fiction but to solve the health problems that deit uses the same technology as vacuum cleaners. velop in zero or microgravity environments. “Tim Peak said that upon reValentine’s Day However, it will still help overcome some of the Weightlessness creates a myriad of problems



espite Valentine’s Day being a day of love and laughter, like a Jedi with the force, this day has a dark side. The day was established to celebrate the life of Saint Valentine of Terni, originally a Roman priest who was martyred for his true dedication to love.

“Valentine, or Valentinus in Latin, was a very faithful priest who would preach the ideas of Christianity and the existence of Jesus” Valentine, or Valentinus in Latin, was a very faithful priest who would preach the ideas of Christianity and the existence of Jesus; he convinced a high judge to believe these when he made a blind girl see again. After this, the judge convinced many others to be baptised and follow the Christian ways. The trouble was convincing the High Emperor Claudius II who very much disliked the way Valentinus embraced his belief in Christianity. Claudius tried to put a stop to Valentinus’s beliefs and preaching by threatening Valentinus with beheading. Of course Valentinus was a very faithful man and refused to give up his beliefs, so he defied the emperor and continued preaching the ‘word of God’. Valentinus is most famous for marrying recently divorced couples much to the annoyance of the emperor. Valentinus believed that if two people loved each other they should not be separated by politics, regimes or the beliefs of any third parties, they should embrace their love for each other.

problems faced by weightlessness and could be vital towards any future missions to Mars. Escaping the clutches of gravity to reach the vacuum of space is an arduous task, requiring tremendous energy and engineering skill. But after all that effort to leave it behind, our bodies yearn for its invisible and relentless embrace. In science fiction films, there is usually just some high-tech device that explains Gravity’s presence while in space. Star Trek’s the Starship Enterprise has gravity plates that line its floors, allowing the crew to waltz around the ship’s corridors in their multicoloured glad rags. On Han Solo’s Millennium Falcon, an artificial gravity generator lets Chewy recline on his furry behind as he destroys his opponents in holo-chess.

“In science fiction films, there is usually just some high-tech device that explains Gravity’s presence while in space. Back here in reality, no such device currently exists” Back here in reality, no such device exists. So what we have instead, is a cross between a giant vacuum cleaner, a treadmill and a menagerie of S&M ropes. It may not be as elegant or high-tech as the world of tomorrow promised, but it could solve one of the

for astronauts, from hypersensitivity in their bums and feet, to fluid pooling in the upper body. This is because everything from the pressure of our blood, to the tension of our eyeballs have perfectly evolved to the conditions of Earth. Once in zero or microgravity, it doesn’t take long for the cardiovascular system to get confused and for the growth and maintenance of muscles and skeletons to be compromised. Tim Peak has said that upon returning to Earth after 6 months on the International Space Station it felt like he had the worst hangover in the World. He’s had dizziness, nausea, faintness and a sense of vertigo when moving his head. We all know how hard it is to get out of bed when you feel like that, but imagine having to land on an alien planet in that fragile condition? For that’s what those brave enough to travel to Mars would feel like after a journey that is thought would take at least 7 months to com-

turning to Earth it felt like he had the worst hangover in the World” It has long been thought that a centrifuge system would be the best prospect for artificial gravity. Operating a bit like how water stays in a bucket when you swing it around on a rope, a rotating spacecraft would exploit centrifugal force to create the feeling of gravity. NASA completed an experiment like this in space over fifty years ago, but for it to work effectively it would require a huge spacecraft. The device that has been created by researchers will help tackle these issues by allowing a person to exercise at their own body weight, rather than weightlessly. Referred to as a lower body negative pressure device, it forms a seal around the waist and contains the lower half of the body in a specially designed chamber. A powerful suction system creates the impression of weight as the astronaut runs on a treadmill, with a series of ropes and harnesses keeping them in place. This vacuum cleanerlike device may not be as stylish. But as the old joke goes, gravity sucks and this contraption has that down to a tee.

The MiLAN Film Festival

“Claudius tried to put a stop to Valentinus’ beliefs and preaching by threatening Valentinus with beheading” Gaming Editor Jared Moore tells us about this week’s MiLAN Film Festival on campus

After refusing to follow the emperor’s wishes, Valentinus was arrested and the order of his beheading was set in motion but before this he was tortured; the soldiers tried to make him renounce his belief in Christianity but he never did. His order of execution was carried out and he was beheaded on February 14th 269 AD. Valentine is not only the inspiration for the very famous day of love we so adore to celebrate with our special (respective) someones, or so loathe if we are single, but he also inspired great courage into the hearts of many men for many years to come. Before he was killed, Valentinus cured the daughter of one of the prison guards of blindness, hence the word ‘valour’ was created; the expression of unbelievable courage in the face of danger.


oday, Newcastle University opens its doors once again to the MiLAN (Medicine in Literature and the Arts at Newcastle) Collective Film Festival. The festival, which will take place on campus throughout this week is primarily themed around concepts of love within a medical discourse. Across the five-day event, students from both medical and artistic disciplines are actively encouraged to get involved with the range of panels and screenings hosted by the collective. Across the week students have access to five different screenings that look to explore an array of narratives associated with love. The films; ‘Still Alice’, ‘WALL-E’, ‘Amour’, ‘Untouchable’ and ‘Life, Animated’ explore a range of themes including early onset dementia, end of life care, representations of disability, equal opportunities in education, explorations of loneliness, mental health and wellbeing, public health issues and Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Each night, screenings are being shown in the David Shaw Lecture Theatre starting at 7 pm.

“Today, Newcastle University opens its doors once again to the Medicine in Literature and the Arts at Newcastle Collective Film Festival” In a statement, Dr Eleanor Holmes, director of the MiLAN collective film festival, explained: “The MiLAN Collective believes we can shine a light on these important subjects if we take an inclu-

sive approach bringing together academia, clinical medicine, and real world experiences and look at them through the lens of the arts, particularly film The festival combines all of this to stimulate discussion and most importantly to celebrate love, loss, human relationships and the bonds that connect us.” In preparation for the event, the collective also ran an Anatomy Drawing session which presented students with the opportunity to view and create artwork using real-life human organs. The session, coordinated by Dr Iain Keenan, took place at the start of February and encouraged both medical and art students to view the human heart in its full intricacy. Throughout the two-hour activity, Dr. Keenan explained that viewing the human anatomy in an environment which allowed for both close-up speculation and touch would encourage students to develop their understanding of the finer details within the human cardiovascular system. Guests at the workshop were able to work with a range of different specimens. Various sized hearts preserved in formaldehyde occupied the majority of the room. However, students could also work on larger areas of the body including the insides of a torso and multiple models that provided artists with a detailed representation of the heartstrings and aorta. Dr. Keenan’s workshop encouraged active participation. Throughout the first hour, students were encouraged to consider each of the specimens in three dimensions, to observe them from multiple perspectives – as if the human anatomy was transparent. Participants were advised to create art

through visualisation, spending time drawing from memory as well as from an observational view. Artatomy (as the session has been named) offered a rare and invaluable insight into the field of human anatomy. Whilst some of the attendees were from a medical background, those who came from artistic disciplines were provided with a wealth of visual information that otherwise would not be accessible in any ordinary practice.

“We can shine a light on important subjects if we bring together academia, clinical medicine, and real world experiences and look at them through film”

The session enacted a safe and healthy environment in which both science and the arts could benefit from one another, allowing everyone involved to build upon their respected fields. Work from the session will be on display across the MiLAN Film Festival for people to experience across this week. Dr. Keenan will be running a second similar session on the 15th February, the theme for this second workshop will be “Arts and Legs” and is focused on the limbs. The MiLAN Film Festival is a completely free event set up and ran by University students and staff. Whilst the event is open to all students, entry is ticketed, and tickets can be picked up from the MiLAN Eventbrite page found online.

The Courier


Monday 13 February 2017

Beasties’ bedrooms

Gaming Editor Errol Kerr has a sneaky peek into the bedrooms of Nature’s various beasts


t’s the week of Valentine’s Day, so what better way to celebrate this than copious amounts of sex? Or, at least, talking about it. If you think humans are filth, you’ve seen nothing yet… Unbelievably, looking into things made me realise that sex between animals, and sex between humans, can sometimes have incredibly similar habits. Much like humans, bonobos have a lot of sex. And I mean, a lot of sex. Sex works as a general societal bond between groups of bonobos, with both heterosexual and non-heterosexual encounters and relationships. Again, much like humans, bonobos have a habit of resolving conflict between individuals through gifts of food or sexual favours. Again, much like humans, it works most of the time in defusing difficult situations. It’s strange to see such familiar, almost human-like behaviour, despite it being in some of our closest relatives.

some kind of insect mile-high club, before the male proceeds to ejaculate, the force of said act rupturing the tip of its penis as it violently explodes from his body, leaving said penis tip inside of the queen as the male falls to its death. In one flight, a queen honey-bee is likely to mate with around ten to twelve males, killing all of them in the process, and the sperm left by each bee’s respective exploding penis tip to fertilise every single one of the million eggs that she will lay over the course of her lifetime. If you’ve ever thought going on the pull is a lessthan-favourable way of getting laid, try being a porcupine. Their trick? Males urinate on the female before sex. I know that some people might be into this – rumour has it a certain new President might be a fan – however, the male porcupine sprays the fe-

“If you think humans are filth, you’ve seen nothing yet…” On the upside, at least it doesn’t involve death. Mostly. Death and sex has an even more prominent link within various species, as oftentimes either the male becomes useless post-copulation, or the male within more intelligent species gets sexually frustrated. Whilst knowledge of the black widow spider’s post-mating murder of the male spider involved is well-known, bottlenose dolphins bumping one another off because they’re sexually frustrated is far less so. The attackers, predominantly young males, tend to ‘play’ with their targets, and scientists believe the reason for this is that younger males are unable to compete with older males and are taking out their sexual frustrations – violently. Who knew we could tie dolphins to mens’ rights activists? Honey bees, too, revolve certain elements of their sex lives around death. Male honey-bees have a singular purpose – mating with queen honey-bees. Honey-bee sex occurs in mid air, hovering like

m a l e from head to feet in urine prior to sex, and the reaction dictates whether the female porcupine will reciprocate sex – should the female not object, they can get straight to it, but

Cell shooting

should the female start, you know, either shouting and screaming, or more likely, just run off, it’s unlikely that the male porcupine is going to be getting any this time round. I mean, that’s not too bad a way to judge it in the animal kingdom, I suppose.

“Males urinate on the female before sex. I know that some people might be into this, rumour has it a certain new President might be a fan” A personal favourite, however, is the anglerfish’s really uncomfortable parasitic sex. The female anglerfish is large, and is the most recognisable, with a huge mouth and the glowing lure on its head. However the male is smaller and weaker, and is incapable of either defending itself or luring prey. Therefore, when mating with a female anglerfish, they proceed to fuse with it. Physically fuse with the female anglerfish. From this point onwards, their relationship becomes one whereby the female anglerfish provides sustenance through the food she consumes, an in r e turn, the male anglerfish provides a stable supply of sperm so long as it’s alive. Which, as it goes, doesn’t sound like the best relationship habit, and I’d suggest not becoming a parasitic organism to get your significant other pregnant.

Word of the Week:

Sarah Main fires her top knowledge on stem cell guns


ew technology from RenovaCare is proving to be a promising alternative to skin grafts for burns treatment. The SkinGun™ has progressed well through clinical trials, was granted a patent in December of 2016, and is now awaiting FDA approval for marketing. The technology has shown potential for use in burns, wounds, skin diseases, and cosmetic uses such as in acne scarring, and pigmentation disorders. Currently, first-line treatment of burns is skin grafting, which is usually associated with scarring and infection. But the SkinGun™ in a clinical trial in Berlin was shown to be so effective that the skin-graft control group were moved onto the stem cell treatment arm. SkinGun™ is a type of cytotransplantation, which uses the patient’s own cells to create new tissues. A healthy skin sample less than 2cm2 is taken from the patient by CellMist™ technology, a machine then processes the sample and uses enzymes to remove cells. Only stem cells are isolated and stored as a solution in water. This solution is put into the SkinGun™ and can be sprayed onto wounds by a pressurised air stream. It feels like a water spray to the patient, and evenly spreads the patient’s own stem cells across the target skin. Once adhered, the stem cells can divide and change into all layers of the skin, even including blood vessels. Similar stem cell technology existed prior to his, also produced by RenovaCare, however, it was too bulky or used an air pressure that was too high and damaged the cells on the target area. Clinical trials so far have shown that the SkinGun™ is much faster than conventional skin grafting. A skin graft can takes time to complete surgery, plus weeks to months for healing, whereas, the

new technology can take a skin sample, process it, and apply the new stem cells within 90 minutes. Furthermore, skin can be completely healed within 4 days, reducing the time for chance of injection, and will continue to differentiate to replicate the colour and texture of the patient’s normal healthy skin. Within weeks, a patient can be completely healed with no scarring. The new skin developed from stem cells is also less fragile than grafted skin, and the procedure is significantly less painful.

“The stem cells can divide and change into all layers of the skin, including blood vessels”

So far, this technology has only been tested on deep, second-degree burns. It is understood that it will work on superficial, first-degree burns and other minor damage, but currently it is too expensive to be used for wounds which can heal without treatment. Full-thickness, third-degree burns are too deep for this system to work, as there are no skin tissues remaining for the stem cells to build upon. In most burns cases, dead skin needs to be removed, which the SkinGun™ system is currently unable to do, but this preparation of the damaged area is still required for current procedures. Another major concern is that the long-term stability of the skin has not been evaluated, although current research has demonstrated that stem cells maintain 97% viability, which suggests that they will maintain their capacity to regenerate long-term. Despite these limitations the technology has proved very promising and is also likely to be applicable to other injury and in reconstruction of other tissues including kidneys and the heart.


Maddy Parameswaran delves into this tired topic


t’s Valentine’s day and you’ve planned a great day ahead with your partner except that your partner simply isn’t getting out of bed! This may not be your partner just being lazy but it could be clinomania. Commonly known as dysania, it is a psychological condition which describes the extreme inability for a person to wake up and get out of bed, derived from the Greek words ‘clino’ meaning bed and ‘mania’ meaning a state of abnormal obsession. While many of us think we may be suffering from clinomania, it’s more likely linked to late nights and fatigue. There may be no underlying reason for clinomania; however, it is frequently associated with depression, insomnia and other psychological conditions. It can reduce people’s efficiency by up to 50% which affects important aspects of daily life such as employment and relationships. It is important to identify clinomania as it can be cured by counselling, lifestyle modifications such as diet and exercise and in extreme cases, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors.

Mythbusters: Can your heart really break ? Jack Coles looks into one of the most emotive heart conditions


rom a medical point of view, a heart can indeed “break”, or in other words, it ceases to carry out its intended function due to a damage or defect. A heart attack or “cardiac arrest” occurs when a substantial amount of heart tissue has died. If enough tissue dies the person can go into heart failure where it stops pumping enough blood to keep the rest of the body alive. Then the heart is effectively “broken”. While cardiac arrests are not uncommon, they are not caused by emotional stress; they are caused by much more mundane risk factors, such as smoking, high cholesterol, or having testicles (attached to your body, not in a jar). When somebody “dies of a broken heart”, it’s usually due to an uncommon disease known as Takotsubo cardiomyopathy, also known as “broken heart syndrome”, and possibly the inspiration for many fairy-tale tragedies. “Takotsubo” is a Japanese word that roughly translates to “octopus pot”, which are clay pots used in traditional fishing practises. Takotsubo cardiomyopathy is so called because the main pumping part of the heart, the left ventricle, swells and causes the heart to adopt a shape similar to one of the pots. The root cause of the condition is as yet unknown, but is triggered by emotional duress, whether positive or negative. So while this does include love-related disappointments, it also can be caused by stress from a natural disaster, loss of a family member, or even a wedding (the diametric opposite of heartbreak, usually).

“You might be wondering if a heart can physically break, not just wear down and die like a jalopy”

The good news is that Takotsubo cardiomyopathy is very rare, and people that do experience it will usually recover completely within months. 85% of patients only ever get one episode in their entire lives (but not because they immediately die), and the most at-risk group of developing this disease is post-menopausal women. You might be wondering if a heart can physically break, not just wear down and die like a jalopy. As it turns out you can get a myocardial rupture, which is similar to Takotsubo cardiomyopathy, insofar as these occur as a direct consequence of weakened heart tissue. Myocardial rupture occurs when an aneurysm forms and bursts, or after a heart attack. In an aneurysm, the heart muscle is weakened to the point where it can no longer endure the pressure, a tear may form, which subsequently breaks open and releases blood into the chest. If this tear occurs in the left ventricle (incidentally the part affected by Takotsubo cardiomyopathy) then death is nearly certain. It is worth noting that this is also an extremely rare occurrence. Finally, to cover all bases, there is the issue about whether or not a heart can explode, either due to emotions or something else. Luckily, hearts do not explode (unless you count aforementioned myocardial rupture, which is more of a leak). The only circumstances under which a heart has exploded have been due to severe physical trauma from an outside source, such as being hit with a .50 cal bullet!

The Courier


Puzzles Across


Monday 13 February 2017

1 Roman bow-wielding deity of love (5) 6 Colloquial term meaning ‘to steal’ (3) 7 To increase another’s affection towards yourself (6) 8 Greek counterpart of 1-Across (4) 10 Concerning or pertaining to the Pope (5) 11 Small building, usually in a garden (4) 12 Designer fruit named after its unappetising appearance (4) 13 A common gift this time of year - especially in red (5) 14 A kind of progenitor to the guitar, associated with the Renaissance (4) 15 Primordial woman in Eden (3) 17 Active Sicilian volcano (4) 21 Artistic, musical and literary movement in the first half of the 19th century (8) 23 Famously uttered by Julius Caesar moments after his iconic betrayal (2,2) 25 A characteristic shared by cake, the Earth, onions and apparently ogres (5) 26 Give them a little respect (7)


1 A childlike angel, 1-Across is usually represented as one of these (6) 2 To spark a thought, feeling or idea (7) 3 Short word meaning ‘father’ preferred by babies and Irish children (2) 4 Surname of John Lennon’s controversial paramour (3) 5 Saintly namesake of February’s romantic/ consumerist festival (9) 9 Light, slightly curved sword, sometimes spelled with the last letters switched (5) 11 Having prominence and notability (8) 16 Surname of Fifty Shades’ decidedly unromantic protagonist (6) 18 Norse deity associated with love, fertility and sexuality (5) 19 When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that’s this (5) 20 To join or combine two things or people (5) 22 Greek deities said to [2-down] writers, artists and general creative types. 24 A particular type of negatively-charged particle

Puzzles Editors: James McCoull & Jack Oliver Parker 1








9 10





15 17

16 18




22 23


25 26




Completing this Puzzles page will earn you the undying love of your friends and peers. Bring proof of your achievement to the Courier office where you will be rewarded with a long, tender handshake and prolonged eye contact lasting exactly as long as the first saxophone bit in ‘Careless Whisper’.

36. sport

Monday 13 February 2017

The Courier

Sports Editors: Lucy Brogden, Tom Shrimplin & James Sproston

Golden medals and golden rings With Valentine’s Day taking over this week, our writers take a look at some of the most successful sporting couples

Chris and Gabby Adcock

When it comes to sporting couples, few have had a longer relationship (as a mixed doubles team at least) than badminton husband and wife team, Chris and Gabby Adcock. The two have played together on and off since they were 11 years old after meeting through the sport, and have been in a relationship since they were teenagers, marrying in 2013. Both have gone from strength-tostrength in recent years. The highlight came the same year they were married, when the Adcock’s won the Hong Kong super series, beating the reigning Olympic and world champions, Chinese pair Zhao Yunlei and Zhang Nan, along the way. The couple had hoped to partner up at the home games of London 2012, but were split up in controversial circumstances by Badminton England. Both were placed with more experienced partners in a bid to improve medal chances. Both failed to make an impact: Gabby and partner Rob Blair failed to qualify. Being reunited at the Glasgow Commonwealth games in 2014, gave the pair another career highlight. They won a major gold medal for the first time, after a comfortable 2-0 win over an-

other British pair- Chris Langridge and Heather Oliver. This gave the pair high hopes for the Rio 2016 Olympics last summer. Unfortunately the Adcock’s, with a competitive field in Brazil, failed to reach the knockout stage of the tournament. Both have joked in interviews that relationship and on-court issues colliding means that their sports psychologist Simon Drane has, at times, become more

At the Olympic Games last summer, Helen and Kate Richardson-Walsh became the first married couple to both claim an Olympic gold since Cyril and Dorothy Wright triumphed in the sailing of 1920. Furthermore, they hold the record as the first same-sex couple to win Olympic gold in the same final. Away from the field, Helen and Kate’s relationship is rumoured to have started during the Olympic Games of 2008 in Beijing, where they both claimed bronze. However, the two have been friends since growing up and rose to the height of the hockey world together. London 2012 saw the couple win another bronze despite Kate suffering a terrible injury and breaking her jaw. After a number of years dating the couple tied the knot in 2013. Kate was, in fact, engaged to former Team GB men’s hockey captain Brett Gerrard but called off the marriage just before the summer of 2008, when she first started seeing Helen.

Unfortunately, in 2014 the couple’s sporting careers took a setback as Helen struggled to prove she was fit enough to be selected for the Hockey World Cup in 2014 after rupturing a disk in her back. However, two years later she was back in, and very much a pinnacle member, of Team GB’s triumphant female hockey side. Although the two may be very much loved up, Kate has insisted that their relationship on the pitch is truly professional: “We put our hockey heads on when we’re at hockey and then when we get away we’re Helen and Kate, the couple.” They have also recognised how important the welcoming nature of the sport has been for them, with Kate saying, “I feel quite proud to have been brought up around hockey, where there have been lots of different ethnicities, religions, sexualities and so on. It’s normal and I feel proud of that.” Toby Bryant

of a marriage councillor! Despite a fairly disappointing 2016, the Adcock’s will have high hopes of doing well in this summer’s forthcoming Badminton BWF world championships, held in Glasgow at the emirates Arena. They will hope to still be the number 1 GB mixed doubles couple in Tokyo at the 2020 Olympics. Jack Lacey-Hatton

Partners in crime: Chris and Gabby Adcock out on court. Image: Wikimedia Commons

Brianne Theisan-Eaton and Ashton Eaton

They met as students at the University of Oregon, married in 2013, and following an incredible 2016, have announced their retirement from athletics. Canadian Breanne Theisen-Eaton and USA’s Ashton Eaton, both 28 years old have decided to call it a day in the athletics field after performing at the top of their game, and both achieving their lifetime ambitions of medalling in the Rio 2016 Olympic games last Summer. Eaton collected his second Olympic gold medal in the Men’s Decathlon, whilst Theisen Eaton became world Indoor heptathlon champion and took home an Olympic bronze medal for the heptathlon, which was won by Britain’s Jessica Ennis-Hill. The multi-eventing power couple have developed their own brand ‘Weareeaton’ and a website on which they describe their personal roller-coaster journeys in athletics and inspire sportspeople of all generations to keep going at what they do. On their website the couple claim to have even more in common than their incredible passion for sport and a huge pile of medals: “We are Ashton and Brianne. We

are a married couple from two different countries. We are total tech and reality TV junkies. We are small-town grower-uppers, adventure seekers and nutritious eaters. We are world travellers and competition dabblers. We are hard-workers and play-harders; dreamers, achievers, avid readers and coffeeneeders. We are athletes. We are people. This is who we are. In their own rights, Ashton and Brianne are record breakers. Ashton smashed an 11 year old decathlon world record before a home crowd in Eugene, Oregon at Olympic trials in 2012. The record of 9039 points was made even more remarkable by the fact that his coach deemed the weather conditions at the time ‘cold’, ‘wet’ and ‘unfavourable’. Thiesen-Eaton is the only Canadian to ever have appeared on the Olympic podium for heptathlon. The Eaton’s summarise their mind-set with a quote from Winston Churchill:“if you’re going through hell, Keep going” Sydney Isaacs

Helen and Kate Richardson-Walsh Laura and Jason Kenny

Kate was nominated for Sports Personality of the Year in 2016 Image: Wikimedia Commons

The Golden Couple of the Olympics, Laura and Jason Kenny, married in a secret ceremony five weeks after achieving historical success in Rio. Not only did they win gold, but they won the nations hearts. Jason, with six golds in total, is the joint holder of the highest number of Olympic gold medals for a British athlete, tied only with Chris Hoy. Laura is GB’s most successful female Olympian in any sport with her four golds. Laura was part of the wave of fresh inspiration to emerge from the 2012 games in London where she won her first two golds, in Omnium and Team Pursuit. At this point Jason had already won a gold in Beijing in 2008. Then London 2012 the pairs romance was revealed as they were spotted getting cosy at the beach volleyball. Their engagement was announced in 2014 meaning by 2016 the public could watch with baited breath as the pair enjoyed each other’s success. Of

huge suspense was Jason’s plight for his third gold of the Olympics. Laura could be seen on the verge of hysteria as the race was restarted twice and disqualifications were issued – one incident in particular saw Jason come close to being out of the race. The interviews following the pairs successes highlighted the differences between the two. Laura was bubbly, energetic and full of excitement,whilst Jason was calm and reserved yet clearly proud. In fact, Laura has said on many occasions that this had initially put her off him. Clearly, this has been overcome. The two now live in Cheshire with their two dogs, Pringle and Sprolo, who even went on honeymoon with them. Post-Olympics they have published a book and are both hoping to compete in Tokyo 2020, taking them further up the charts of history.

On this drive, Brady threw the ball to Danny Amendola for a 6-yard touchdown. With the 2-extra point try good, the score was now 28-20 with just under 6 minutes to go. The Falcons responded by moving the ball 67 yards in just three plays, this meant that realistically, all they had to do was wind the clock down and score an easy field goal and the game was theirs.

triots would have one more shot to tie the game with about 3 minutes left on the clock, only 90 yards and 11 Falcons stood in their way. This didn’t matter though, as Brady took the Patriots all the way down to the 1-yard line where James White ran the ball in from the one and Danny Amendola scored the 2-extra point to tie the game with close to a minute left. The game was going to go to Overtime, the first time that this had ever happened. The Patriots won the coin toss and elected to go for the score. Which after a drive of pure class where James White carried three would be defenders into the end zone with him to mark the greatest Super Bowl comeback ever seen. The game is now being widely regarded as one of the greatest Super Bowls of all time due to the fact it helped establish nearly 40 new records.

Sophie Chapman

Raiders recover with Patriots party Super Bowl social: the Raiders celebrated the sporting final in style Image: Jack Hunter

By Jack Hunter Newcastle Raiders veteran In the early hours of the 6th of February, people from across Britain battled the desire for a good night’s sleep in order to watch Tom Brady and the New England Patriots play the Atlanta Falcons in the 51st Super Bowl. The game was a truly marvellous spectacle where Tom Brady led his team on an amazing comeback from being 28-3 down to winning the game 34-28. The first half saw the Atlanta Falcons run up the score to 21-3 by halftime. Then, came the part that everyone who wasn’t bothered with the football was waiting for, Lady Gaga. Considering recent years have seen acts such as Beyoncé and Bruno Mars who both killed the half-time show. Lady Gaga didn’t do that much to stand out (still not as bad as Coldplay

though). It was by no means a bad performance, but it was lacking the political overtones many were expecting and it didn’t do much to set the tone for a game that is supposed to be fuelled with aggression either. The second half began and the scoring fest continued with the Falcons adding another touchdown to their lead, making the score 28-3. Considering a team who was only 10 points behind made the greatest Super Bowl comeback of all time, this looked like a done deal. On the next series, Tom Brady led the Falcons 75 yards to score a touchdown off a pass to Running back James White. The Patriots’ kicker missed the extra point making the score 28-9 with 13 minutes left. The Patriots scored a field goal to make the game 28-12 before almost shutting down the Falcon’s offence to get the ball back almost straight away.

“It was lacking the political overtones many were expecting” This is exactly what Atlanta did not do, as they took a massive sack followed by a 15-yard penalty when one of the Falcons’ offensive lineman held a Patriot player kicked the Falcons out of field goal range. This meant the Pa-

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NUAXC prepare for Cow Bell Road Race

Sports Editor James Sproston spoke to Sean Hodges about the upcoming Cow Bell Road Race and NUAXC’s season

To say Newcastle University Athletics and Cross Country Club have an exciting year planned is an understatement. However, NUAXC have already been busy. Back in October, the cross country season got underway at Durham PvP (Past vs Present), where Newcastle competed against runners from Durham and Northumbria in the North East meet. Next, in November, Newcastle took 25 cross country runners to Edinburgh for the Braids Hill race. Everyone from the club performed well, but the women’s runners defied expectations. The girls 5km team, consisting of Amelia Pettitt, Charis Taylor, Shona Haston & Clara Pettitt won their event, beating strong Leeds, Manchester and Edinburgh sides. It’s no surprise that Newcastle performed well. NUAXC’s membership has increased this year, recruiting some especially talented women who have impressed already this season In terms of cross country, the club are making even more steps to establish themselves as a heavyweight on the circuit. Since Edinburgh, Leeds and Manchester all have their own events, NUAXC are introducing their own, the Cow Bell Road Race. Though it was originally meant to be a cross country race on the Town Moor, the event has developed into a road race. The club are keen for it to be a linkup between the society and the university, so if anyone missed the start of the

season, this is the perfect opportunity to get involved. Other clubs are also getting in on the act. Team Newcastle Triathlon and Newcastle University Running Club are taking part, with the aim of increased cooperation between the clubs in the future. Similarly, NUAXC will look to get other universities involved in the future if not this year. On top of this, the club are also getting local running clubs involved. From this, NUAXC are hoping for high performing clubs to improve the standard of the field, as well as appeal to those who don’t usually compete. Again, the club are hoping for this to be the start of an ongoing cooperation between the university and the local community.

Indoor event in 16 days’ time. There were plenty of PBs, as well as people opening their season in very fast times, so the team is looking to be in great shape to do very well. As always, the athletics will be streamed on the club’s Twitter page, @NUAXC. Stan Calvert is also in the athletics calendar, though not cross country since

Northumbria still can’t stand competing against a team they’ll know they’ll lose to. The athletics is yet again at Gateshead Stadium, but there’ll be no football to distract from the event this time. That’ll all be kicking off at 9am on Super Sunday, the 26th of February. The Cow Bell Road Race takes place on the 18th of February, with the women’s

5km race taking place at 1pm, and the men’s 5mile race starting at 2pm. Tickets are available now for Newcastle students, with a generous £1 discount for anyone studying at Newcastle. The link can be found on the NUAXC page on the NUSU website https://www.nusu.

“Everyone from the club performed well, but the women’s runners defied expectations” Besides the Cow Bell Road Race, the club still have a busy 2017 to look forward to. On Wednesday 1st February, NUAXC took 13 athletes down to Sheffield for the prestigious Steel Cup. The club competed in 10 events, with PBs for Jack Olsen in the 60m and 200m, Cameron Cutts in the 800m, Isabel Taylor in the 200m, Hannah Shepherd in the 60mh and 400m. This success should be considered great preparation ahead of the BUCS

High steaks: NUAXC are hoping for a successful first Cow Bell Road Race Image: NUAXC

38. sport

Monday 13 February 2017

The Courier

Sports Editors: Lucy Brogden, Tom Shrimplin & James Sproston

Northumbria knock down Knights

By Sophie Matthews AU Officer Stan Calvert is here!! I think it’s safe to say I’ve been eagerly awaiting this event all year, and it’s finally arrived! For those of you that don’t know, Stan Calvert is the annual sports varsity between Team Newcastle and the poly, Northumbria, and it is the biggest sporting event of the year. This year the final weekend is the 25th and 26th of February, so save the date! It’s named after the 1981 Director of Sport (Stan Calvert believe it or not), who was the first to take on the role. Team Newcastle are going head to head with Northumbria in 58 fixtures across 25 different sports, with Team Newcastle aiming to reclaim the cup. 2008 saw the start of a huge winning streak for Team Newcastle, winning the cup 6 years in a row, and with Northumbria’s track record not even close to rivalling this. But 2014 saw a change, and Northumbria managed to steal the cup, having kept it ever since. But fear not Team Newcastle, we’re heading in to the games stronger as a team than ever, and I have every confidence in everyone competing. We’re ready to give it everything we’ve got!

“Stan Calvert is the annual sports varsity between Team Newcastle and the poly, Northumbria, and it is the biggest sporting event of the year” We’ve already kicked off Stan Calvert with the huge launch event, the basketball double header on Sunday the 5th of February. The atmosphere was mad, with the Womens game kicking off first. The amount of effort the girls put in was unbelievable! Despite an unlucky 62 – 83 loss, I can safely say that they gave it absolutely everything and fought until the last second. We had some cracking entertainment in between the Womens and Mens games, with Team Newcastle’s mascot, Rory, bringing his A-game dance moves to the court (nice try Liam Day). The Mens game kicked off to a positive start, with a really fast pace. Like the Women, the guys couldn’t quite clinch the win, rounding off at 6288 to Northumbria. But again, they gave it their all and made Team Newcastle proud. The support we had there was incredible, and I just hope we can carry it on throughout the whole competition. This year we’ll be rounding off the competition on the 26th with the Futsal at Northumbria Sport Central and it’s guaranteed to be a huge game! I can’t encourage you all enough to get down and support the teams competing. It could be the deciding game in who gets to lift that glorious cup this year. There are some huge games going on that weekend including Football, Badminton, Squash, Lacrosse, and I’ll also be taking to the court and competing for Womens Tennis. Make sure you’re around to support your mates, and Team Newcastle! I’m really excited for all the fixtures left to come and I am seriously confident that this year is our year. To everyone competing, I wish you the very best of luck and remember that you’ve got the whole University backing you. Come on Team Newcastle, let’s go!




Northumbria 1st


By James Sproston at Sport Central In a closely fought encounter, Newcastle couldn’t overcome a very clinical Northumbria side that made it two wins out of two in front of an atmospheric Sport Central crowd.

Newcastle had the better of the opening exchanges after Northumbria had taken a 2-0 lead. Irving Eggleston Jr.’s layup pulled the Knights level after a neat one-two with Alei Wol, and then Richard Austin’s three-pointer extended Newcastle’s lead, having been picked out by captain Romonn Nelson. Northumbria’s Espin scored two points to put the home side within one point of Newcastle, but Alberto Cessel was on hand to restore the Knights’ three-point lead. Again, Northumbria cut down Newcastle’s lead with a speedy counter-attack, but Newcastle hit back through Austin’s perfect free throws to notch up the scoreboard to 9-13. As time went on in the first quarter, Northumbria managed to find their rhythm and take control of the game. In an attempt to restore their dominance, Newcastle coach Ian Hewitt brought on Oliver Hannam for Cessel, but the

Going for the two: Eggleston Jr. impressed throughout the tie Image: James Sproston

No.10 struggled to make an impact. By the time Austin had scored Newcastle next two points of the game, Northumbria has scored 12, racing into a 21-15 lead. Cessel returned to the court, and gave the Knights more of a penetrating edge. From Wol’s pass, Newcastle’s No.13 dropped the shoulder but couldn’t squeeze the three-pointer in, but quickly made amends by scoring two to reduce the deficit to 26-17 at the end of the first quarter. Newcastle’s fortunes in the break didn’t improve either as Rory the Lion lost the dance-off to Polly the arrogant Parrot. Nevertheless, the Knights came back strong in the second quarter, as two Eggleston Jr. two-pointers put the boys in white back in contention. With Newcastle looking to get back in the game, tensions were high. After two free throws were scored by Wol, Cessel was seemingly impeded by the Northumbria No.4. Having not heard the referee’s whistle, Cessel got back to his feet and gave a little back. The Northumbria lad hit the deck faster than a lead-lined sack of steel potatoes and a little bit of argy-bargy followed. Having witnessed the advertising hoardings take a battering, Newcastle began to slow the play down. Knights captain Nelson began to trouble the Northumbria defence, scoring nine points in a row to give Newcastle hope going into the third quarter. Half-time provided the crowd with a few important insights. Editor of the Courier, Jade Holroyd, can bag one from 15ft out, and that Newcastle’s sock game is on-point. Northumbria’s anklewear on the day was disappointing. Northumbria took control after the break, slowing Newcastle down with tight defence, and hitting them hard on the counter with brilliantly quick offensive play.

In offence, Newcastle’s plays were still paying dividends, however. Hannam set up Eggleston Jr. for two points, before pinpoint passing from Hannam and Austin gave Wol an unchallenged layup from a couple of yards out.

“As time went on in the first quarter, Northumbria managed to find their rhythm” At 46-35 the Knights still didn’t lose spirit, and a quick-fire five points from Romonn Nelson again gave the visitors hope. The first two points came from a swift counter-attack, whilst Eggleston Jr. set him up for a three-pointer from 22 yards out. Being within six points, Newcastle sensed an opportunity. However, despite finding the basket, Eggelston Jr.’s effort was ruled out and Northumbria capitalised on the decision to score at the other end. Going into the final quarter, Newcastle trailed Northumbria 58-45. No doubt the Little Mix blaring in the break won’t have helped concentration, but Northumbria pulled away with relative ease. The rowdy Newcastle crowd were there to cheer when regular impressive three-pointers from Eggleston Jr. found the basket, especially a delicious effort from the right-hand-side of the court after being fed by Josh Syzmanis. Richard Austin finished off the game with a nonchalant three-pointer, but the final score was a resounding 88-62. On the day Northumbria found more in their locker, especially defensively, than Newcastle. The Knights can look forward to the BUCS Final 16s in the coming weeks, but Team Newcastle will have to pull a few miraculous results out of the bag to be able to claim this year’s Stan Calvert Memorial Cup.

Owls outplayed in Stan Calvert clash STAN CALVERT LAUNCH 2017

Proud Owls: Newcastle can take positives from the defeat Image: Bradley Cunningham

MEN’S RUGBY LEAGUE Newcastle 1st


Northumbria 1st


By Bradley Cunningham at Druid Park Under the lights at Druid Park, Newcastle University came up short against a strong Northumbria side, who had bolstering their title hopes with last week’s win at Leeds Beckett. After 2 disappointing results in the league against the neighbours, Newcastle set out to provide a stern test for Northumbria. Newcastle started the game on the back foot, as a mistake from kick off let Northumbria camp down in the Newcastle 20. It wasn’t long before the first score of the game as Northumbria’s spread play resulted in their winger going in for the first try of the game. A missed conversion saw Northumbria take the lead 4-0. As bright of a start Northumbria had, Newcastle matched, if not got the better of them in the first half. Strong runs and offloads from Ryan Major and Aaron Leavy helped Newcastle get on the front foot on several occasions. On the back of a penalty, Newcastle gained some good field position, result-

ing in James Nicholls to go over after breaking the line and going over the covering full back. Conversion by Matthew Hogg meant the Owls took the lead 6-4.

“Strong runs and offloads from Ryan Major and Aaron Leavy helped Newcastle get on the front foot”

Northumbria’s reply was swift and they regained the lead after a break down the right edge. Again a missed conversion meant Newcastle were only

2 points behind. However, a penalty in front of the sticks furthered Northumbria’s lead to 4. Newcastle weren’t done there though, and the strength of the Newcastle pack at times dominated Northumbria. Quick ruck play from hooker Jed Mawdesley put Newcastle in a good position, resulting in Hogg going over as he spotted a gap in the defense. The unconverted try levelled the game at 10-10. Finlay Hutchison looked to have broken free after a professional foul from a quick tap, before Northumbria went down to 12 men just before half time. Unfortunately, Newcastle didn’t capitalise on the man advantage, as in the second half Newcastle struggled to rep-

licate some of the attacking threat that what was seen in the first 40. The game of two halves resulted in a spirited defensive effort from the Newcastle side, but they were unable to gain any good field possession in order to try and test Northumbria. Penalties kept costing the Owls, and they soon found themselves 12 points behind after two converted tries. Highlighting the intensity and the strength of Newcastle, Northumbria again opted for the 2 points when already 12 infront. The game resulted in a 24-10 defeat. The strong performance does provide some positives to take out of the game, as this impressive Newcastle side look ahead for a run in the cup.

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Dancers excel in Edinburgh Edinburgh Dance Off 2017

By Samantha Lade at Assembly Rooms, Edinburgh Newcastle Dance Society enjoyed yet another successful day in Edinburgh last Saturday at their first national competition of 2017, bringing home four trophies amongst several other nominations from the notoriously tough competition. Hosted by Edinburgh University at the historical, crystal chandelier-bearing Assembly Rooms, the Dance-Off welcomed 17 different universities to compete in over six different styles of dance throughout the day. It was well known that the competition would be extremely difficult, with entrants such as St. Andrew’s, Manchester and Funkology (Imperial College London) triumphing in previous years. But not even the 5 a.m. wake-up call could dampen the spirits of the Newcastle Dance Club competitors, all of whom excelled on what was yet another fantastic day for the society.

“It was well known that the competition would be extremely difficult” First to take to the stage were our Beginners Contemporary group who immediately wowed the judges with their artistic piece, earning themselves an impressive two nominations from the judges for “Best Choreography” of the day. Our Advanced Contemporary girls soon followed, performing a fantastically energetic piece to an audience of over 600 spectators and five highly-experienced judges. Our beautiful Beginners Ballerinas stunned in a category which emphasised just how much the standard of the beginners groups has risen in recent years. Previously, moves such as the double pirouette would perhaps not have been considered as beginners level, yet this year they appeared in abundance. Newcastle’s Advanced Ballerinas then demonstrated their grace, elegance and control in a striking performance, looking radiant in shades of black, pink and maroon as they did so. Worthy of their first place trophy were our Beginners Jazz group with a fabulous musical-theatre style piece which had the entire auditorium up on their feet - especially at the fierce performance from Safwan Ahman, playing a curious bystander interested in joining in on the girls’ high-energy moves.


trophies, won in beginner Jazz and Tap, and advanced Tap and Street

The stand out performances in this sass-filled dance resulted in a nomina-

Newcastle’s Beginners Jazz gave it their all in Edinburgh Image: Robyn Barber tion for Safwan as “Best Male Dancer” of the day, as well as a remarkable four nominations for Fola Solanke as “Best Female Dancer”, all of which were truly well deserved. Continuing to bring the sass were our Advanced Jazz ladies, whose incredibly technical performance to Beyoncé’s “Why Don’t You Love Me” showcased high-kicks, fouettés and head rolls galore in what was certainly one of the toughest categories of the day. Our fantastic tap dancers were up next, securing another two trophies for Newcastle in a duo of spectacular, highly-skilled performances. Our Beginners group flawlessly tapped their way to third place in a lively fun-filled piece, before our Advanced team performed

a captivating routine choreographed by four-time soloist champion Louisa Barnard, bringing home the second thirdplace trophy of the day.

“Newcastle’s Advanced Ballerinas then demonstrated their grace, elegance and control in a striking performance” The penultimate category saw the Beginners Street crew take to the stage in a fantastically choreographed piece which fused dancehall, hip-hop and

Afro-dance styles, unlucky not to place in the busiest category of the day with a total of twelve entrants. Advanced Street’s performance then continued to mix up the genres, incorporating both house dance and old school hip-hop into their vibrant piece, ultimately securing themselves a third place trophy as well as scoring an impressive full marks from one of the judges on the day. Last and most certainly not least, our Lyrical team gave a highly emotive performance to Lady Gaga’s “Speechless” as Newcastle’s Wildcard entry, in what is always an exciting, yet equally challenging, category. Manchester’s enchanting Irish Dance piece however went on to win the group, with both Manchester

Newcastle impress in Edinburgh Image: Newcastle Dance Society

and St Andrew’s having hugely successful days as expected. Speaking of Newcastle’s success, Dance Society President Rebecca Bainbridge exclaimed: “It was great to see the immense improvement of the teams from our last competition. I have always been proud to be president of such a talented society but this weekend I was so happy to witness the teamwork and positive attitudes of all our dancers. “All of the dancers should be as proud as I am about the hard work they put in leading up to the competition and that we gave some really strong teams a run for their money!” Returning to the Toon with four trophies, five “Best Dancer” nominations and two “Best Choreography” nominations in the bag, the entire 70 member strong Newcastle team were ultimately winners - particularly considering the short rehearsal time afforded after the January exam period and the incredibly high standard of performance in Edinburgh this year. The society will now prepare to host its very own Dance Competition at the Sage Theatre on Saturday 18th February in which the university will undoubtedly continue their ongoing success in what has so far been a sensational year for dance.


Fola Solanke


Monday 13 February 2017 Issue 1344 Free

Sports Editors: Lucy Brogden, Tom Shrimplin & James Sproston Twitter: @Courier_Sport | Instagram: thecouriersport

Image: James Sproston

Physical play: Newcastle’s offensive play was smooth but couldn’t match Northumbria’s physicality Image: James Sproston



Knights beaten by Northumbria STAN CALVERT LAUNCH 2017


EDINBURGH DANCE-OFF, P.39 Image:Mo Esmaeil Yadegarfar‎


Newcastle 1st


Northumbria 1st


By Courtney Strait at Sport Central The Newcastle Knights fell to Team Northumbria 87-63 in a spirited match on Sunday. Despite the somewhat lopsided score, Newcastle competed with Team Northumbria and challenged the home team from the starting whistle until the final buzzer. The Knights had the opportunity to compete against one of the top teams in the BUCS North Premiership, in front of an energetic group of fans during the kickoff of Stan Calvert. Team Newcastle and Team Northumbria were neck and neck throughout the first half. An impressive offensive show by first year player Courtney Strait and veteran Noelia Quintas helped the Knights to kept the score close. Newcastle headed into the halftime break down by only a single point, 3938. Quintas finished the first half with nearly 20 points because she was able to use her length to her advantage against the shorter Northumbria guards. In the first half, Quintas scored from all over the court, in the paint, short

jumpers, and even a three point shot from deep. She was unstoppable and kept the Knights afloat against a talented opposition. Strait used a three ball and a few nifty drives to the basket to chip in ten points before the break. Throughout the first three quarters of the game, the Knights were able to run a smooth offence against a tough-nosed Northumbria squad. Newcastle was able to make adjustments after playing Northumbria just four days prior in a BUCS regular season match. Upon the completion of the game on Wednesday, Newcastle head coach Mark Elderkin knew he had to switch up the game plan the second time around in order to compete against the cross-town rivals. The first challenge the Knights had to face was Team Northumbria’s stingy defence. Newcastle were able to score handily against Northumbria’s 2-3 zone on Wednesday and, consequently, they did not see this defence during the game.

“Quintas was unstoppable, and kept the Knights afloat against a talented opposition”

In order to attack Northumbria’s physical play, the Knights used lots of movement, including cuts to the basket, to catch their opponents off guard and finish easy baskets around the rim. Knights newcomer, first year Beth Wilson, was extremely effective at cutting to the basket and getting open looks. Wilson was a solid contributor

all game. The Knights also handled offensive ball screens differently the second time around. The Newcastle post players, including first year players Eleanor Goodwin and Leana Tajkov, used their agility to get open for quick layups against a slower Northumbria defender. The post players for Newcastle were able to bolt past Northumbria’s ‘bigs’ many times throughout the match.

“Beth Wilson was extremely effective at cutting to the basket and getting open looks” The top scorers for Newcastle, Noelia Quintas and Courtney Strait, were both heavily face-guarded during all 40 minutes of the game. Despite facing extreme pressure, both showed poise under pressure and had 20-point performances. Defensively, the Knights tried to emulate the same style they used during their previous match against Northumbria. Newcastle kept Team Northumbria on their toes by switching between a 2-3 matchup zone and a man-to-man defence. Despite their best efforts, the balanced, structured attack proved to be too much for the Knights to handle. Against the man-to-man defence, Northumbria attacked the basket and got many wide-open layups. The agile point guard led the way for Northumbria with her speed off the dribble and court vision following the pick and roll. When Newcastle switched to their matchup zone, North-

umbria’s jump-shooters took advantage of gaps in the defence and hit a number of outside shots. The Knights struggled to find a balance between the two defences during the fourth quarter and gave up too many easy chances in the final minutes. When the game rolled into the fourth quarter, the Knights were only trailing the WBBL contenders by ten points. Despite the losing outcome, the Knights did not lose their composure during the game and kept their heads held high. The only difference between the two sides was some of the Newcastle players running out of steam; if Newcastle had kept up with the speed and intensity of Northumbria in the fourth quarter, they undoubtedly would have had a chance at an upset.


point lead for Northumbria at the start of the second half

Coach Elderkin said that the team’s performance on Sunday was some of the best basketball he has seen since he took the helm at Newcastle. Highlighting many positives to take away from the game, going to show that Newcastle can compete with anybody when they stick to the game plan, compete together, and prepare diligently in training. Elderkin said this game has boosted the players’ confidence and will help them carry momentum into their BUCS fixture against Edinburgh. If the Knights can take what they learned in the Stan Calvert game, push the tempo for all four quarters, and execute Coach Elderkin’s game plan, they will have a great chance at turning some heads and causing a few upsets in the playoffs.

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